Direct Democracy. Would you vote for it?

This is a discussion on Direct Democracy. Would you vote for it? within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Originally Posted by Sharke Well, it's the largest survey of its kind ever carried out in America. But still, you ...

  1. #61
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharke View Post
    Well, it's the largest survey of its kind ever carried out in America.
    But still, you have to honestly admit it's a completely useless survey. I mean, frankly.

    Let's ignore that a good republican, by virtue of their doctrine, sees in humanitarian aid a personal responsibility, while a good democrat sees it as mostly a state responsibility, which obviously translates into some kind of figure (assuming people have deep convictions about their political doctrine).

    Are you ignoring that? Now, what exactly does the survey tell you? Without that perspective, what does it tell you? That republicans are good people and democrats are bad people? Or that there are more good republican people, than there are good democrat people?

    For pete's sake!
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    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharke View Post
    nor does it appear that you fully understand what a straw man argument is.
    Sure I do. You raised this issue in order to demonstrate that we don't need public services funded through taxation, because people will give to charity instead. I'm saying that charity is no form of replacement for public services for the reasons I already mentioned, so this whole issue is a straw dog. The fact that conservatives may or may not donate money to the causes they choose is no evidence for the idea that we could just as well do without public services, a government to over see them, and taxation to pay for it.

    They would have no need to feel guilty whatsoever if they didn't spend half their time lecturing conservatives and other non-liberals about being mean and greedy.
    Yes, that would make them hypocrits.

    It's not that freedom is very narrowly defined by libertarians, it's just that it has a very simply definition.
    To me also. I do not see the point in passing judgements on someone because they have asked me for change -- otherwise, I would just be lording power over them and telling them they have to live my way. That is not freedom. Reading over my last post, I did add "I try very hard to avoid passing any judgement on the people who ask me for change, because I know from long personal experience that pan handling has no potential -- only someone who really has next to nothing in their pocket would bother." Just to be clear about that.

    [as a footnote, I imagine you are aware that libertarianism, historically, was just a perversion and narrowing of anarchist principles, qv. "anarcho-capitalism", a term coined by libertarian writers]

    I'm not stereotyping anyone by the way, I'm simply stating the facts dispassionately.
    In so far as "crackhead" is not a pejorative stereotype (IMO it is), implying crackheads deserve less respect or sympathy than other human beings certainly is. And, nb, there is much evidence (including formal studies) indicating that cocaine use/abuse is not higher among the indigent than it is among the higher economic classes -- it's less. Alcoholism does not recognize these boundaries either, so your whole bit about how panhandlers are just "alcoholic crackheads" (relative to the rest of the population) is the exact kind of thoughtless stereotype you are accusing me of, and has no basis in fact.

    Central economic planning simply does not work and for very good reasons.
    I am pretty sure I understand what no economic planning is supposed to accomplish. I am not really thinking of "central planning" in the sense of direct control (as I said, I am not in favour of centralization), but rather in terms of regulation, which you would like to make impossible. IMO 100% employment would be a worthwhile goal, but again, I do not expect anyone to take the idea seriously. I very much doubt it could ever be accomplished without some regulations (which you have chosen to call "central planning", I presume because you want to link it rhetorically to communism). Far right capitalists/industrialists do not want a low unemployment rate and would never, ever be so stupid as to provide it* -- they just want the unemployed to get nothing, so they will be forced to accept anything.

    Strip away the power of the government to "manage" the economy and cut income taxes so that people have more of their own money to spend and invest, and we'll sharp see unemployment levels drop.
    And yet countries that do have little or no taxation and regulation also tend to have very high unemployment rates and a low standard of living, so this little fantasy you are trying to sell is just that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sharke View Post
    If they were able to keep more of their income, they would be able to create even more jobs, whether or not they're currently unhappy with the situation. Everyone I know who runs a business despises the IRS and for very good reason.
    Again, I grew up around money, I am not a stranger to the situation, and this is a crude stereotype. My parents (and many people like them) have an existential relationship with their employees and while they may not always be in 100% agreement with what the government does with their tax contributions, they respect democracy, and one thing I am sure they would be very unhappy with would be to hear that (eg) the foreman's kid cannot go to school or receive medical treatment because it is too expensive. I am also sure they would have no interest in attending to such problems personally, because they already have their hands full with the business itself. Furthermore, they and the foreman (who lives a much less privileged lifestyle than them, for sure) would both consider such a relationship distasteful. IMO you are still just advocating a sort of Dickensian feudalism.

    I should point out this was a central premise of Fascist economics and social structure as expressed by the Nazi party -- an emphasis on hierarchical relationships, such that your friends are not your peers (said foreman lives in a community) but your "superiors", who look after your needs, and it is only to them to whom you are responsible. I understand that some rather slimy would be social climbers do see the world this way, but I think most people are fine with receiving the same services as everyone and not having to rely on the potential kindness of the rich and powerful.

    Taxes can very easily break a business, especially in its early years when profit margins are tight and constantly hover around the line which separates a viable business from a non-viable one.
    That does not mean they need to be eliminated. Also, if you cannot run a business that covers it's expenses then too bad. Not everyone is simply entitled to run a business just because they want to.

    I would like to know where you get the idea from that elected officials are somehow inherently more altruistic,
    I don't believe they are. But they are democratically elected.

    What you are suggesting with your "opt out" is that there should be no such thing as "public services." If you are not forced to pay for a service out of your taxes, then that service cannot be described as a public service.
    As long as everyone retains the option -- and they would, even the destitute get to pay sales tax -- and those services are controlled by the elected government, then the things we currently consider public services could remain exactly that.

    *hence those low tax, unregulated, low wage, high unemployment economies, which really exist, in contrast to some absurd libertarian fantasy no one actually believes in.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    *hence those low tax, unregulated, low wage, high unemployment economies, which really exist, in contrast to some absurd libertarian fantasy no one actually believes in.
    And the high tax, highly regulated, high wage, low unemployment economies which also does exist.
    Sharke, there are many different parties to cater for in a democratic society, it is not all about the private sector and what the private sector wants. This business anarchy that you seem to be encouraging will lead to nothing but cynicism and misery imho.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    For you, perhaps. But there are over 250 million people in America of which maybe 40% actually care about any of this.
    That is not a small percentage. And I am not talking about forcing a new system. I am talking about voting for it. If 40% care about a change, then it won't be voted on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    You can. The electoral college already handles this. You seem to think your vote is unaccounted for unless we have a direct system.
    I didn't say unaccounted. I never implied that we don't have a democracy. But that doesn't mean that in a direct democracy your vote doesn't have a much greater role.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    Now take New York and you get a massive jump in population due to NYC. There is no way to create a direct system with this kind of population density discrepancy.
    I have already commented on this. Let me get straight your argument. You are saying that if there is a vote in New York, since the city has the most population, the decision will be based on the people in the city. So, the decision will not take into account the situation and need of the people outside the city. Am I right?
    IF that is the case, that can be true. It is not most of the time, though. The decision might not matter where you are. If you want to make your military stronger by increasing its annual cost, what would it matter where you live for example?
    Then, as you said, you have the state divided in counties, towns and such and some decisions are taken from there. The solution is already there, divide the regions into smaller pieces. I don't see how the change of the system would affect this. You could also have each region have a vote and count the votes for each region. Instead of the region having a rep you will use the majority. There are ways.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    If we went to a direct system then candidates would have to visit every major town of every state USA which isn't feasible.
    Again, I am not sure we are in the same page. What would change in a direct system for the candidates?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    I don't get why you keep bringing up this absurd and irrelevant argument. Are we arguing about direct democracy vs. what we currently have or are we arguing that an oligarchy or monarchy is better?
    I use it as an example because the "it does work" is relative. Democracy means that the people have the power, not representatives. So I see our system incomplete and in that sense, "doesn't work". Except, if a direct system isn't feasible. Then we have to settle for what we have.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    Now if you are also arguing that we should have to vote for every single law out there then you are being completely unrealistic.
    That is what we 'hire' professionals for so they can represent 'some' of my basic ideas and beliefs for me. It is impractical to think that we would ever move to a direct system without reps. I would go as far as to say it's impossible. I do see some relevance for a debate about the electoral college process and perhaps altering the layout a bit due to changes in the population....but as for a completely 100% direct democracy that is just insane and also reveals you know little about the law making process in the USA.
    I said that we shouldn't vote for all laws. I said that more than once. We can vote for the laws that we want to vote or for laws that are labeled as "important". If for example there is a vote on law A and only the 10% votes, then you can call the number too small. If 60% vote, then that number is high enough to count the vote. In order to avoid everybody voting wherever they feel like to, you would label some votes as important so people would focus on those. The rest you would have to have the pros do so for you. I don't support unrealistic ideas. I support fro the people to have the ability to vote. If they don't use that privilege or are too busy, then the lost nothing.

    A direct democracy would require the people to be educated and more concerned, but I find that a positive thing.

    ---
    A direct democracy is more balanced. "You can lie to some of the people for all time, you can lie to all the people for some of the time. You cannot lie to everyone all the time", or something similar to that. Controlling the government is much much easier than controlling the majority. So you avoid corruption and a worst case scenario has less chances to occur.
    ---
    Now, the government is responsible to check the government. The people would either have to rebel or would have wait and vote for someone else if the government abuses its power or does a poor job. In a direct democracy, the people check the government. If they find something wrong, they can simply vote against it. So there is one more layer of protection. That layer the hardest to control and the one that has less chances to be corrupted. A direct democracy doesn't imply that you don't have people to govern you. There will always be people in charge.
    ---
    Direct democracy is more accurate of what the people wanted when the they had enough of a government having too much power. I don't think they want that now either.
    ---
    In a direct democracy you don't concentrate your voting right on one vote, the one to elect a representative. You vote a few times per year. That is much more practical. Because if you don't agree on everything that a rep has to offer, you just vote on the things you agree with him. If you could see the future and you knew that this rep votes for A, B and C, the other for B, C and D laws and you agree only on A and B, then you would be satisfied with your decision. But if you could vote directly, you would choose just A and B and be more satisfied.
    ---
    There is no direct distinction between a direct and indirect democracy except from the level of directness. We do vote directly now, as we would vote through representatives in a direct democracy. The question is how often. I find it really hard that people only have time and only have the ability to vote once every few years! They have time at least to vote for a few times per year. The "they are not ready to vote" implies that we don't have a democracy.
    Having a direct democracy would give a flexibility on what we can vote on and what we can't, based on more serious factors than "we can only vote for reps".
    ---
    Reps are not independent. They belong to groups. Which gives a lot of powers to the leaders of the group since they can choose not to support them if they do whatever they want.
    The government has to have the majority. Why is that? Because otherwise it couldn't pass the law it wanted. It would be impractical. So again you are govern mostly from a certain group, not from X independent persons.
    Why not have X independent persons? You vote for those rep and their majority vote would be the final decision?? The answer is obvious, politicians are not really independent and the independent ones will have far less chances to get elected.
    In a direct democracy there are groups of people but rarely the majority belongs to one group. So even if group X will follow what their leader says, that would be a small percentage of votes, not the majority.
    ---
    There is no real reason to label the system and keep if all the time. Let again have a flexibility. There is a lot of ways to do so. I give an example of a semi-solution on the fly:
    Each person can choose either to vote or leave it to his rep. So you get a choice in case you disagree with your rep. If you want to be independent you simply don't vote for anybody. So you would say "I vote this in place of my rep which is this.
    Or the people could vote and take into account both the people's and the reps vote.
    So you would have a balance. If the people want to vote for something stupid, the reps will get a saying and balance the situation. If the reps wanted something bad for the people the people could vote against it.
    The magnitude of each group would be dependent on the number of people voting on it. If Y people are voting 70% saying "yes", then that would count 0.7*Y. If the reps said 60% "yes", that would count 0.6*X. So the people would decide how much they want to be represented and how much they want to participate.
    Or something like the above. The absence of the ability to vote directly is just something I don't like.

    I want to clarify that I m not against representative democracy. I just find it the first step to go to a more "real" for my standards democracy.

  5. #65
    Registered User Sharke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    But still, you have to honestly admit it's a completely useless survey. I mean, frankly.

    Let's ignore that a good republican, by virtue of their doctrine, sees in humanitarian aid a personal responsibility, while a good democrat sees it as mostly a state responsibility, which obviously translates into some kind of figure (assuming people have deep convictions about their political doctrine).

    Are you ignoring that? Now, what exactly does the survey tell you? Without that perspective, what does it tell you? That republicans are good people and democrats are bad people? Or that there are more good republican people, than there are good democrat people?

    For pete's sake!
    I think you're missing the point somewhat. The reason I brought up the survey is because in the course of making the argument for individual responsibility and individual freedom, the typical bone-headed knee-jerk retort is to claim that people who don't believe in high taxes and state welfare are obviously mean, selfish and greedy people who don't care about the poor. But the empirical evidence shows otherwise and this survey illustrates very clearly that people who seek freedom from the state are more likely to take the responsibility of helping their fellow man personally, while those who seek increasing dependence on the state are more likely to shy away from that kind of charity and would rather the state dealt with "those people," quite possibly because they'd rather not have to deal with "those people." Of course it's not to say that every conservative is charitable or that every liberal is not; but in a survey like this we do see a general trend or pattern, one which has a very logical explanation.

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    I must be a good Republican then b/c by my very nature I want the government involved in as few things in my life as possible. I do not feel it is the state's job to take care of all it's citizens in a country that offers enough for them to take care of themselves. However I do not agree with everything Republicans say nor disagree with everything Democrats say though I tend to agree with the former more.

    I do find it odd that most Dems suggest they want more liberation yet tend to want more government which seems to me the anti-thesis of liberation. I also find it odd that Republicans want more liberation but tend to cater to the wealthy which also then tends to impoverish others leading to less liberation. Notwithstanding I do feel that trickle down works best since I've never personally received any money from a poor man but it is a bit strange that both parties have contradictory platforms. I honestly believe that both parties are seeking more liberation but how they approach this is what gives us our current two party system. One thing is for sure neither party wants a third party and you can clearly see that come election time.

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    Registered User Sharke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Sure I do. You raised this issue in order to demonstrate that we don't need public services funded through taxation, because people will give to charity instead. I'm saying that charity is no form of replacement for public services for the reasons I already mentioned, so this whole issue is a straw dog. The fact that conservatives may or may not donate money to the causes they choose is no evidence for the idea that we could just as well do without public services, a government to over see them, and taxation to pay for it.
    I can't believe the frequency with which you are prepared to completely and utterly misunderstand and misrepresent what I've said. I can't help but think that it's deliberate. I will ask you one more time to stop it. At no point did I suggest that charitable donations would be a replacement for public services. I do however believe that charitable donations could be a replacement for the welfare state and that private companies could provide the services currently provided very badly and inefficiently by the government. There are millions of people who claim welfare benefits who have no intention of working, I grew up among entire neighborhoods of people like this back home and the same types exist in America too. It's a scandal - not only are they sucking valuable capital out of the economy by consuming without producing - capital which could be invested to create real jobs - but they also necessitate the employment of hundreds of thousands of bureaucrats to process and distribute the welfare. These workers are also consuming without producing, since it is simply their job to run the welfare state. It's a double whammy and it's harming the economy. If I am to donate my private property (money) in order to help people, I want to make sure I'm donating to a charity that has very stringent standards to make sure that only truly needy people receive my money. Why should I be forced, at the point of a gun, to contribute toward the upkeep of loafers and losers who have no intention of working? You tell me.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    To me also. I do not see the point in passing judgements on someone because they have asked me for change -- otherwise, I would just be lording power over them and telling them they have to live my way. That is not freedom. Reading over my last post, I did add "I try very hard to avoid passing any judgement on the people who ask me for change, because I know from long personal experience that pan handling has no potential -- only someone who really has next to nothing in their pocket would bother." Just to be clear about that.
    Why don't you see the point in passing judgment over them? Since charity is a finite sum, it stands to reason that you should pass judgment to make sure your money is going to people who are using it to get their lives back together, instead of people who have voluntarily gotten addicted to drugs and who have decided they'll just live from fix to fix with the help of handouts from passers by. Any finite resource requires a system of judgment in order to distribute that resource to its best potential. Unless you believe that charity is something that is worth frittering away on random people who may or may not be genuinely needy cases. There used to be a woman who stood outside of St Vincents hospital every day stuttering and shaking with her hands all seized up into claws, shaking a cup and struggling to make her case to passers by. I routinely saw people stuffing notes into her cup. After about a year of this I happened to see her in a music venue in Brooklyn called Southpaw - she was with her friends, dressed very nicely, laughing and joking and raving it up, no disability, no speech impediment. I approached her and said, quite snarkily, "Hey how you doing. Quite a contrast from your stage outside of St Vincents." She threw a torrent of abuse and threats at me, asked me who the f*** did I think I was, issued the appropriate threats and that was that. I never saw her outside of St Vincents again. There are many people pulling a fast one on the streets of New York - it helps to have some kind of bulls*** meter in order to filter out the jokers. This is why I pass judgment. You might not see the point, but then again it's obvious there are a lot of points you don't see in general.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    [as a footnote, I imagine you are aware that libertarianism, historically, was just a perversion and narrowing of anarchist principles, qv. "anarcho-capitalism", a term coined by libertarian writers]
    Libertarians do not march in lockstep, neither is libertarianism a narrowly defined concept. There are many kinds of libertarians, some of them fake "left wing" libertarians who claim to stand for freedom but who express many anti-business and pro-socialist views. The libertarianism that I have talked about in these posts has nothing whatsoever to do with anarchy, in fact it leans more toward an Ayn Rand/Objectivist libertarianism, combined with classical old style liberalism (how liberals were before Marxists hijacked the term in the 60s). The principles of small government and economic and individual freedom have been discussed and promoted since the days of Adam Smith, who most certainly wasn't an "anarcho capitalist." The main difference is that I advocate the existence of a state which protects the freedoms of the individual via national defense, law enforcement and the courts, as opposed to the not-so-free "anarchist" style freedom in which everyone is at the mercy of whichever marauding gang wishes to set upon them, steal everything they own and enslave them - which is not freedom. True freedom can only be achieved when force is banned from human relationships.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    In so far as "crackhead" is not a pejorative stereotype (IMO it is),
    A "crackhead" being someone who is addicted to crack and who exhibits the appropriate behavior associated with crack addiction, yes....but go on:

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    implying crackheads deserve less respect or sympathy than other human beings certainly is.
    I beg to differ. As humans we are in possession of something called volition, or free will, which we can either choose to exercise to a rational end, or choose not to in the full knowledge that we're going to expect others to clean up after us and pick up the pieces. Therefore, someone who discards a life of potential and chooses to enter into the lifestyle of a crackhead deserves less respect and sympathy than, for instance, someone who has been abused as a child and has been unable to complete an education as a result. One is more deserving of my charity than the other. Being in possession of a finite amount of charity, I consider it to be highly essential to exercise judgment.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    And, nb, there is much evidence (including formal studies) indicating that cocaine use/abuse is not higher among the indigent than it is among the higher economic classes -- it's less. Alcoholism does not recognize these boundaries either, so your whole bit about how panhandlers are just "alcoholic crackheads" (relative to the rest of the population) is the exact kind of thoughtless stereotype you are accusing me of, and has no basis in fact.
    Firstly, I could not care less if rich people choose to destroy themselves with cocaine, as long as they don't expect others to pay for the consequences of their habit and as long as they're not shooting people in the street to pay for their fix. Secondly, it's gotten to the point now where you're lying so much about what I have and haven't said, I'm just going to come right out and say that you're an a-hole. I didn't, as it happens, do a "whole bit about how panhandlers are just alcoholic crackheads." I just pointed out that some of them are, and that those ones are less deserving of charity. Please stop lying MK27, I don't know how many times I'm going to have to ask you. It's at least once in every post. At least once.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    I am pretty sure I understand what no economic planning is supposed to accomplish. I am not really thinking of "central planning" in the sense of direct control (as I said, I am not in favour of centralization), but rather in terms of regulation, which you would like to make impossible. IMO 100% employment would be a worthwhile goal, but again, I do not expect anyone to take the idea seriously. I very much doubt it could ever be accomplished without some regulations (which you have chosen to call "central planning", I presume because you want to link it rhetorically to communism). Far right capitalists/industrialists do not want a low unemployment rate and would never, ever be so stupid as to provide it* -- they just want the unemployed to get nothing, so they will be forced to accept anything.
    Regulations stifle business, stifle economic growth and actually lower standards. Take the situation in Britain, for example, as a steady fall in the standard of building construction has coincided exactly with a steady increase in the weight of regulations. There are something like 10 times more regulations than there were 50 years ago, yet building standards have dropped considerably. The reason is this: the more the public is led to suspend their own standards of judgment in favor of blind faith in government regulations, the less incentive there is for building companies to compete with each other in terms of standards. They know that all they have to do is the minimum amount of effort and expense required to get their stamp of government approval. There is little competition among construction firms to outdo each other and so everything is built to a minimum standard and no higher. All the public cares about is that government standard - as long as they get that, they are happy. So why bother doing any more? This has not only led to a drop in building standards in comparison to standards 50 years ago, but it has also stifled innovavation. What is the point of innovation? Also, the state is so fond of changing or adding to the regulations that it is simply too risky to invest in anything new or radical, since the chance is high that such innovation is going to fall foul of the sometimes arbitary regulations imposed by faceless bureaucrats who know little about the construction business and who could not care less about quality or innovation.

    Regulation stifles economic growth. A study released by the State of California totaled the cost of regulation to CA businesses at almost 490 billion dollars per year, almost a third of the state's gross product. The result is a loss of approximately 3.8 million jobs. California, the land of high taxes and high public spending, is almost bankrupt. How does this fit in with your insistence that full employment must be achieved with regulations? Your final point in that paragraph, that "far right/capitalists do not want a low unemployment rate, would never provide it and just want the unemployed to get nothing" is just typical of the kind of childish, lowbrow, groundless statement you've made constantly throughout this thread. There is no ground to say that whatsoever, no reasoning behind it at all and it's just part of your incessant tendency to substitute childish smears for arguments.


    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    And yet countries that do have little or no taxation and regulation also tend to have very high unemployment rates and a low standard of living, so this little fantasy you are trying to sell is just that.
    This isn't true at all, in fact the countries that have the highest economic freedom, including Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia, also have relatively low unemployment rates. Countries which have high taxation and high public spending are now finding that their economic models are unsustainable. Take much of Europe for instance, which has followed the holy grail of "social democracy" - another way of saying "socialism funded with the extorted proceeds of capitalism" - for decades. Liberals love to roll out countries such as Denmark and Sweden as examples of how high taxation and massive welfare states can produce the greatest standards of living in the world. But here's the truth: much of the economic growth of Europe happened during their period of relatively free markets and low taxation between the end of WWII and the 70's, at which point the leftists in power decided that they should start doing the "right thing" and taxing the crap out of everyone in order to pay for huge social welfare states. Since that point, their economic growth has slowed to a crawl, especially in comparison to America's. Not only that, but their welfare states have been largely funded by the American taxpayer, since the US has basically covered most of Europe's defense bill since the end of WWII. Note that despite anti-Americanism being widespread in Europe among the left, there has never really been a push by the social democrats to kick the US military out of Europe. This is because they know that their defense bills will immediately rise to unaffordable levels and the bubble of social democracy will burst. Even with this subsidy, their model is failing and Europe is also recognizing the fact that their high taxation and high government spending has been bankrupting them. Not only that, but their liberal immigration policies have brought their welfare systems to breaking point, as they've basically opened the doors to mass immigration, especially from north Africa - many of whom are immediately offered free housing and welfare benefits and yet still riot in the streets and radicalize their young in government funded mosques and plot terrorist attacks against their hosts. This is all coming to a head right now and we'll soon see the end of "social democracy" as the population of Europe realize that enough is enough and that while they're very open about cultural diversity, they won't tolerate losing everything they've worked for in order to clothe, house and feed people who have never contributed anything to the economy.


    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Again, I grew up around money, I am not a stranger to the situation, and this is a crude stereotype. My parents (and many people like them) have an existential relationship with their employees and while they may not always be in 100% agreement with what the government does with their tax contributions, they respect democracy, and one thing I am sure they would be very unhappy with would be to hear that (eg) the foreman's kid cannot go to school or receive medical treatment because it is too expensive. I am also sure they would have no interest in attending to such problems personally, because they already have their hands full with the business itself. Furthermore, they and the foreman (who lives a much less privileged lifestyle than them, for sure) would both consider such a relationship distasteful. IMO you are still just advocating a sort of Dickensian feudalism.
    I am not advocating anything of the sort, again stop lying and stop misrepresenting my views for your own convenience. I am not advocating that employers be responsible for their employees lives. I am advocating that individuals, whether they be employers or employees, contribute voluntarily to charitable organizations to help people who are in genuine need of help. I am also putting it to you that when the wasteful, inefficient and corrupt government welfare state is dismantled, then there will be more private capital in the economy, meaning more jobs, higher incomes and less need of welfare in the first place. Liberals in my opinion are too fond of the idea of paying the poor to stay poor. People on welfare lose their self respect. These people need real jobs, not handouts. With a giant welfare state you're always going to have a large subclass of people who settle into a lifestyle of dependence. Welfare dependence destroys people psychologically and has had a hugely negative effect on the poor since its inception. If you are interested, there is a British psychologist named Theodore Dalrymple who has worked with the poor in British hospitals and jails for decades and he knows the psychology behind welfare dependence from the inside out. He wrote a book about Britain's welfare dependence called "Life At The Bottom" and it's a fantastic and fascinating read. Please, take the time to read a couple of chapters, it's eye opening. You can find links to the chapters online here. It really is tragic what the welfare state has done to the spirit and character of the British - and it's had much the same effect here too.



    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    I should point out this was a central premise of Fascist economics and social structure as expressed by the Nazi party -- an emphasis on hierarchical relationships, such that your friends are not your peers (said foreman lives in a community) but your "superiors", who look after your needs, and it is only to them to whom you are responsible. I understand that some rather slimy would be social climbers do see the world this way, but I think most people are fine with receiving the same services as everyone and not having to rely on the potential kindness of the rich and powerful.
    Um, I guess this is another one of your kak-handed attempts to equate me with an evil fascist and to frame the debate in terms of meanies like me and benevolent altruists like you. Sorry kid, it won't work for all of the reasons described above and in every other of my posts.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    That does not mean they need to be eliminated. Also, if you cannot run a business that covers it's expenses then too bad. Not everyone is simply entitled to run a business just because they want to.
    When the government extorts money from you at the point of a gun in order to pay the wages of corrupt bureaucrats who do everything they can to make your business fail via an inhuman spaghetti code of rules, mandates and regulations that nobody can plan around with any kind of confidence, that is not a legitimate business expense and the failure to cope with it does not mean that a business should not exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    I don't believe they are. But they are democratically elected.
    So what? If a corrupt criminal is democratically elected, then that makes it alright? American political history is littered with the disgrace of corrupt and often criminal elected representatives. The fact that they were democratically elected does not make them any less of a curse.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    As long as everyone retains the option -- and they would, even the destitute get to pay sales tax -- and those services are controlled by the elected government, then the things we currently consider public services could remain exactly that.
    Oh, so offer people an "opt out" but pile the tax onto consumer sales anyway so that nobody really gets to opt out. Great. You should really be in politics. How about we just have private companies compete with our dollars same as every other product and service. Seems to work out pretty well, especially in comparison to the bloated, inefficient and corrupt public sector.

  8. #68
    Registered User Sharke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neo1 View Post
    And the high tax, highly regulated, high wage, low unemployment economies which also does exist.
    Sharke, there are many different parties to cater for in a democratic society, it is not all about the private sector and what the private sector wants. This business anarchy that you seem to be encouraging will lead to nothing but cynicism and misery imho.
    Tell me of such countries, the ones that aren't currently discovering why their economic model is not sustainable, anyway. And I will make the same request of you that I repeatedly made of MK27 (to no avail): stop misrepresenting my views. I did not advocate "business anarchy" or any other kind of anarchy.

    And you can cater for as many "different parties" as you like, as long as you don't point a gun at me and force me to pay for them. Sound fair? No, it's not all about the private sector. But that doesn't mean that the private sector should have money stolen from them in order to fund the careers of politicians and the lives of welfare loafers and every other way in which vital capital is sucked out of the economy and wasted in scandalous ways.

  9. #69
    Registered User Sharke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    I do find it odd that most Dems suggest they want more liberation yet tend to want more government which seems to me the anti-thesis of liberation.
    Liberals, especially when they're young, will constantly assert how they're individuals and not part of any machine ("I'm a name, not a number!") and yet they consistently support and vote for the ideology of collectivism and more government control. I too find this odd.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    I also find it odd that Republicans want more liberation but tend to cater to the wealthy which also then tends to impoverish others leading to less liberation. Notwithstanding I do feel that trickle down works best since I've never personally received any money from a poor man but it is a bit strange that both parties have contradictory platforms. I honestly believe that both parties are seeking more liberation but how they approach this is what gives us our current two party system. One thing is for sure neither party wants a third party and you can clearly see that come election time.
    I don't think Republicans "cater for the wealthy" in the derogatory way that liberals like to paint it. They're just aware of the fact that wealth is grown by people in whose hands the most capital is concentrated. It's not so much catering to the wealthy as recognizing that there is no positive reason to punish the wealthy for their success and that the politics of class warfare are the path to less prosperity, not more. Liberals love to bemoan that x% of "the wealth" (as if it's a finite pie!) is in the hands of only y% of the population, conveniently forgetting of course that most of that wealth is invested in the economy and creates the jobs that provide livelihoods for the poor and enable them (the determined ones anyway) to climb the economic ladder and start businesses of their own. There is no such thing as "trickle down economics" really - just the reality that wealth is created when and only when the capital or the "seed corn" is concentrated in the hands of those who have the means to make it grow.

    The left's simple minded alternative to this is "trickle up economics" (of course - the exact opposite!) which is doomed from the start since increasing consumer demand by redistributing wealth (capital) from the producers to the consumers will only lead to an increase in demand accompanied by a decrease in supply, meaning of course higher consumer prices since more dollars are chasing the same amount of goods. Liberals have a problem understanding that higher demand has to be matched with higher supply and that the producers need capital in order to supply. They figure they'll just take a big chunk of the seed corn from the greedy farmer and redistribute it to the masses, oblivious to the reasons why that's just big one big economic wrong.

    I believe that the Democrats want more and more control and larger government and I also believe they have a huge motive to perpetuate the kind of class warfare that keeps huge swathes of the population in poverty (and thus guaranteed to vote Democrat). I believe the Republicans want, in theory, smaller government and more freedom, but they're too gutless to fight the left and the result is that they're simpering apologists for capitalism instead of being unashamed crusaders. It's pathetic really, I couldn't have been more annoyed by McCain in some of those campaign debates against Obama.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharke View Post
    Tell me of such countries, the ones that aren't currently discovering why their economic model is not sustainable, anyway.
    Almost all countries are having to cut their losses at the moment, does this make any economic model other than your own invalid?

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    And I will make the same request of you that I repeatedly made of MK27 (to no avail): stop misrepresenting my views. I did not advocate "business anarchy" or any other kind of anarchy.
    I apologize, i read most of what you've wrote fairly quickly, it has after all grown into quite a wall of text by now.

    And you can cater for as many "different parties" as you like, as long as you don't point a gun at me and force me to pay for them. Sound fair? No, it's not all about the private sector. But that doesn't mean that the private sector should have money stolen from them in order to fund the careers of politicians and the lives of welfare loafers and every other way in which vital capital is sucked out of the economy and wasted in scandalous ways.
    This is a typical answer Sharke, "point the gun at me", "money stolen", "welfare loafers".
    Anyone who is part of a society has certain responsibilities towards that society, including businesses. This is to make sure that people isn't living and dying in the streets, that everyone can afford an education and so on and so forth. This is not stealing, and there does not have to be any guns involved. Around here, people choose to pay half their salary to the state, the American system as of now is disgusting, and what you are proposing doesn't seem to change any of what is wrong with it.

    Contrary to what you heard on Fox News, socialists are not gonna march in through Mexico trying to _steal_ all your income and give it to dopeheads and criminals. Socialism does not have to be forced, or despotic or any less democratic than liberalism or conservatism. Socialists are not monsters and they are not thieves. Throughout all of this thread you have been using communism and planned economy as a dystopic example, albeit very subtly. I cringe everytime i hear an American mention communism or socialism as if it is terrorism or thievery.

    This probably won't go down very well. Just realize Sharke, the communists are in your walls, and outside your window, lurking, watching, waiting. Be afraid, be very afraid. The wrath of Stalin will hit you like sickle and hammer. Fearmonger.
    How I need a drink, alcoholic in nature, after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics.

  11. #71
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharke View Post
    Why should I be forced, at the point of a gun, to contribute toward the upkeep of loafers and losers who have no intention of working? You tell me.
    I've already said I don't think you should be. I think you should be allowed to opt-out.

    Why don't you see the point in passing judgment over them? Since charity is a finite sum, it stands to reason that you should pass judgment to make sure your money is going to people who are using it to get their lives back together
    This is precisely why I am not interested in passing judgement, because I believe in personal freedom and that people have the right to live their lives they way they want, and not according to some ideal I have no desire to dream up anyway. If someone wants to ask me for a dollar and then go spend it on beer or crack that's freedom. I don't care. "Freedom" does not mean the right to do what I want you to do or what I think is best. Freedom is the right to do what you want to do as long as it does not involve hurting other people (impinging on their freedom). As have repeated a few times now, I do not consider your use of the word anything more than hollow sloganeering -- you want to apply it to the rights of property owners and nothing else.

    Any finite resource requires a system of judgment in order to distribute that resource to its best potential.
    Potential to do what? Force people to dress, act, and behave in a way that is pleasing to Sharke's eye? Why on earth would I want to do that? I wouldn't do that myself, much less expect it from others. I'm presuming at this point that as a rule you do not give anything to panhandlers, so why they would care what you want from them I dunno.

    Unless you believe that charity is something that is worth frittering away on random people who may or may not be genuinely needy cases. There used to be a woman who stood outside of St Vincents hospital every day
    Every right winger has one of these stories. Single anecdotes are meaningless. I lived on the street for years and have survived panhandling in three or four different countries. I know what the potential there is, and it is minimal. As I said before, no one would bother with it unless 1) they actually need the $10-20 they might collect in an entire day. 2) they are psychological unstable/sociopathic. There are a very few people like this around, I have an opinion about their motivation but I will not bother to voice it here (basically I would just call them wing-nuts -- again they are very rare amongst panhandlers IMO).

    But WRT to your anecdote, there is corruption everywhere. Does one story about a corrupt and violent killer cop mean that all police are corrupt violent killers and so we should withdraw funding for the police?

    classical old style liberalism(how liberals were before Marxists hijacked the term in the 60s).
    Another revealing fantasy. It would be much closer to the truth to say that contemporary libertarianism was a creation of the mid 20th century -- while you may find bits and pieces from various authors you may like to quote prior to that, this does not mean libertarianism was what "liberalism" meant in (eg) 19th century Western thought. Which the distinct term "libertarian" did exist then too, but it was not as exclusively defined then as it has come to be today.

    Adam Smith, who most certainly wasn't an "anarcho capitalist."
    No, the term was coined by Murray Rothbard, a friend of Ayn Rand and promiment U.S. Libertarian Party activist during the 1970's, to refer to his own theories.

    opposed to the not-so-free "anarchist" style freedom in which everyone is at the mercy of whichever marauding gang wishes to set upon them, steal everything they own and enslave them
    That has nothing to do with anarchism, but since I am not interested in selling the philosophy to the public or debating it with someone who is about as close to being an anarchist as Mussolini, I will not bother to correct you beyond saying that if you are interested, then you can do some reading. And when you find the anarchists that are proponents of what you are talking about there, please let me know so I can straighten their heads out too (altho, in fact, you will not find any such people). But I presume you are more interested in misrepresenting everyone else half the time, and the other half screaming that it is you who are misrepresented. Blah blah blah.

    A "crackhead" being someone who is addicted to crack and who exhibits the appropriate behavior associated with crack addiction, yes....
    Okay, so what is wrong with me labelling someone who talks like fascist, acts like a fascist, and walks like a fascist a fascist?

    Please stop lying MK27, I don't know how many times I'm going to have to ask you. It's at least once in every post. At least once.
    Yes, it's a real "tactic" you have for denial and obfuscation. Surely you do not expect to be taken seriously? I am not the liar here.

    There are something like 10 times more regulations than there were 50 years ago, yet building standards have dropped considerably.
    Yes for example now there is all the asbestos and lead paint that we use, which was not a problem in the "good old days". And as I am sure people in California will tell you, today's buildings are no where near as earthquake safe as they were before minimum standards were regulated there.

    This isn't true at all, in fact the countries that have the highest economic freedom, including Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia
    Australia has a corporate tax rate of 30%, comparable to or higher than the corporate tax rate here. The same is true of their personal income tax rates (it's higher). Australia also has a 10% GST. Furthermore Australia has a minimum wage over $14 dollars (AU, which is 85% of the US)! So once again, the one who is so insistent on accusing everyone else of lying seems to be the one doing the most lying.

    Um, I guess this is another one of your kak-handed attempts to equate me with an evil fascist and to frame the debate in terms of meanies like me and benevolent altruists like you.
    Duck, duck, duck. I was merely illustrating the point that much of your economic and social philosophy was also explicitly used by the Nazi party. I will give you credit since perhaps you have never studied Nazi philosophy and so are ignorant of the close parallels there.

    Beyond that, yes I do believe the tea party is largely populated (and funded) by closet fascists. By "closet" I mean they would prefer not to identify themselves that way publicly, and would deny the whole duck, duck, duck thing as coincidental (?) or more likely dodge the issue.

    Oh, so offer people an "opt out" but pile the tax onto consumer sales anyway so that nobody really gets to opt out.
    No, you can have a special card, Sharke, that says you opted-out and don't have to pay it because you are not receiving any services. I imagine there would have to be some minimal "non-optional" tax to cover national defence.
    Last edited by MK27; 05-31-2010 at 10:15 AM.
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  12. #72
    Registered User C_ntua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharke View Post
    I don't think Republicans "cater for the wealthy" in the derogatory way that liberals like to paint it... [] ...There is no such thing as "trickle down economics" really - just the reality that wealth is created when and only when the capital or the "seed corn" is concentrated in the hands of those who have the means to make it grow.
    I agree with Bubba. Each party mostly supports one side of the battle.
    Sharke, you are right. That is how wealth is grown. And that is how new jobs rise. But it depends on the situation. If an owner has to give a raise to their workers because the government demands so then it the result is not always the same. The company might close down and everybody lose their job. Or it might simply result on the low-paid workers getting a more fair salary.
    On the extreme situation where everybody has the same wealth, capitalism would fail. But that doesn't mean that if there was a less capital a smaller "seed corn" it wouldn't grow. And it doesn't mean that a concentration of wealth always results in growth.
    I say keep an open mind and try to think of each situation independently. So a flexibility is the best. So if you hear the news "workers demand a raise" don't be biased on if they are right or wrong. It depends.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sharke View Post
    They figure they'll just take a big chunk of the seed corn from the greedy farmer and redistribute it to the masses, oblivious to the reasons why that's just big one big economic wrong.
    You are talking in the case where the whole economy is one big company and consumers. The masses are people that have companies themselves and produce wealth as well. Who deserves the money in the end?
    The key is balance. Avoid the worst case scenarios. The rest is whoever gets the wealth gets the wealth. Antagonism. Or change the system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sharke View Post
    I believe that the Democrats want a larger government...
    The government has the role also to provide justice to the people and balance the free market. With capital you get more capital. The idea of capitalism doesn't ensure balance. That is why you have to have other mechanisms, which are run by the government. So their goal is also freedom in that sense, as Bubba said.
    If you think that the government has too much power, the republicans are right. If you feel that the government should impose more measures in order for there to be more justice, the liberals are right. So it depends on the truth behind the current situation.
    The government of course might not stand to its role and protect the people. Or it might go to far and neglect its other duty which is to protect the economic system in general.

    People have a different judge on the current situation, so their ideas and where they give their support differs on that fact.

  13. #73
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C_ntua View Post
    The government has the role also to provide justice to the people and balance the free market. With capital you get more capital. The idea of capitalism doesn't ensure balance. That is why you have to have other mechanisms, which are run by the government. So their goal is also freedom in that sense, as Bubba said.
    Yes. This is why I (nor, I believe, anyone else) is interested in selling anarchism (meaning: "without leaders") as a large scale solution to the problems of nation states. I have lived in some (decades long economically self-sustaining) anarchist communities where there is little or no violence and theft, but there is a common understanding of the difference between personal and public property which would not scale very well.

    However, the definition of such ("personal property") accepted as normative in western industrial nations is something which in itself requires a very strong, not insubstantial government and a very elaborate system of laws. This is why I also (pragmatically) support another set of laws for balance -- I think the only humane alternative is to reduce and limit existing property laws such that they do not enable unrestrained greed, waste, consolidation of private power, etc, which this would be very alien to us and require a complete re-organization of the economic system.

    So when right wingers talk about a "smaller government", it is pretty clear they do not mean this in an objective sense, but rather getting simply getting rid of the parts of the government they do not like, and by eliminating the checks and balances of the system, re-enforcing the parts they do like, which would be equivalent to tyrannical fascism.
    Last edited by MK27; 05-31-2010 at 04:09 PM.
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  14. #74
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    So when right wingers talk about a "smaller government", it is pretty clear they do not mean this in an objective sense, but rather getting simply getting rid of the parts of the government they do not like, and by eliminating the checks and balances of the system, re-enforcing the parts they do like, which would be equivalent to tyrannical fascism.
    I believe I could argue just as much that the Dems have the same approach albeit would arrive at the goal through somewhat different means. Hence I feel this is why recent surveys (if you believe them) say that 85% of the US does not trust nor support the government - both sides have proven their ineptitude and lofty goals that may not fit with the rest of America a few too many times.

  15. #75
    Registered User C_ntua's Avatar
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    You are talking, though, about the economic system. The political system is difference. Anarchism and democracy can mean the same thing. Anarchism is mostly an idea, than a political system. Anarchism can lead to democracy, it can also lead to chaos. So democracy is the goal. Democracy doesn't need anarchism. As long as most of the power belongs to the people, there can be leaders. A "without leaders" system is not for the near future. A direct democracy is far more feasible.

    So, changing the property laws would be a change in the economic system, not the political system. I agree that it is the source of greed when you are able to accumulate as much wealth as possible. But as mentioned before, if you don't have a big capital, capitalism doesn't work well. So what is the motive to accumulate a big capital?

    A solution I would prefer would be if every person would be allowed to have a limited property. Like a house, a car, a land etc etc. I am not implying equality. If somebody makes more money he can have a better house or a better car.
    The rest of the wealth will be public. It would be used to built business. If you want to built a software company, you would have to ask for the necessary resources. It will be decided if you get them. Once you do, you can start building your business. Part of the profits would be used to "pay back" the wealth used to built the business and to pay the workers. Every worker will get money depending on his/her role in the company. The owner/founder will get probably the most. So he would make sure it prospers.
    The amount of profit used to pay the personnel of a company would scale accordingly. If it was beyond expectation the excess would be used as an extra/bonus profit, but most of it for investment and part of it would be returned to the "public wealth pool".
    The market would still be antagonistic. If a business fails, the workers lose their jobs, the owners lose their profit, which might result of having to live a poorer life if they don't get to built a as big business.
    The criteria on who is the head of a company would not be perfectly fair. But the wealth distribute better. On one hand, people would have a smaller motivation than today. On the other hand, controlling what kind of companies a city needs and controlling the initial capital on the company needs would give you more chances of a successful business. The risk would be much lower for starting a business which would boost people investing and creating.

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