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  1. #41  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    The problem will be mainly from the really highly paid wage workers, such as managers and mid-level executives who aren't exactly wealthy, but who's interests do lie in the interests of the wealthy elite.
    I don't get this. What do you consider "really highly paid wage workers"? Give me a number here.

    Anyway, my point is that rarely on the Federal level do you find a politician that goes into whatever sub-committee or staff meeting and thinks "how can I benefit the disparate individuals that comprise the American citizenry today?" Which is why, philosophically, I favor small government with limited powers. But at the same time I don't think there is some deliberate conspiracy between any sort of "wealthy elite" and the upper echelons of civil service. I just think its a mere matter of humans being fundamentally interested in self-preservation in the workplace (including elected officials), and that the individual American voter doesn't have a whole lot of power at the federal level based on how our system of government operates. And no, I don't think any sort of large organized labor movement is the answer either, since in order to be effective these just end up suffering from the same sorts of issues as large government.
    Last edited by m00; 05-15-2010 at 10:21 PM.
     

  2. #42  
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    Quote Originally Posted by m00 View Post
    I don't get this. What do you consider "really highly paid wage workers"? Give me a number here.
    What he is referring to is the type of government workers in the EU who have hefty salaries, pensions, benefits (free health care and 5 week paid vacations), etc. that are on the verge of bankrupting a country like Greece.

    On this side of the pond.... In We We's mind a hamburger flipper should start out at 10 bucks an hour and a union auto worker with benefits is worth 80 grand a year.
     

  3. #43  
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    Quote Originally Posted by lacarnut View Post
    What he is referring to is the type of government workers in the EU who have hefty salaries, pensions, benefits (free health care and 5 week paid vacations), etc. that are on the verge of bankrupting a country like Greece.
    I live in Norway, which is an absurdly socialist place. And I emphasize "absurd."

    However, I have to admit it's mostly functional. But you pay for it - I'll go into a McDonald's and drop about $20 on a medium big mac meal. And gas is over $6/gallon. Costs are like this across the board. And this is the price of socialism, as a consumer you pay for it. But the only reason it works at all is because Norway is an incredibly wealthy country with a population of less than 5 million which is mostly centralized in a handful of large cities. What you get out of it is free health-care and government assistance on pretty much everything.

    Oddly enough, the government is highly efficient and otherwise small (not a whole lot of waste). And Norwegians seem to be impossibly honest, as a national characteristic. Crime rates are ridiculously low, and this also applies to "scamming the system" style fraud. So in my mind this seems to be the optimal conditions for any sort of widespread socialism to work. And it barely works here. How anyone thinks the same sort of socialism could work to any degree in the US is beyond me.

    It seems like the US mentality is that any policy can work if you throw enough bureaucracy and layers of regulation at it. This just isn't true. I think the logistics and overhead of applying any Federal policy or scheme to over 300 million people living in an area of 3.8 million square miles will almost always create a cost greater than any potential return. This is without even examining whether it's a good idea in the first place.
    Last edited by m00; 05-15-2010 at 10:50 PM.
     

  4. #44  
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    Quote Originally Posted by m00 View Post
    I live in Norway, which is an absurdly socialist place. And I emphasize "absurd."

    However, I have to admit it's mostly functional. But you pay for it - I'll go into a McDonald's and drop about $20 on a medium big mac meal. And gas is over $6/gallon. Costs are like this across the board. And this is the price of socialism, as a consumer you pay for it. But the only reason it works at all is because Norway is an incredibly wealthy country with a population of less than 5 million which is mostly centralized in a handful of large cities. What you get out of it is free health-care and government assistance on pretty much everything.

    Oddly enough, the government is highly efficient and otherwise small (not a whole lot of waste). And Norwegians seem to be impossibly honest, as a national characteristic. Crime rates are ridiculously low, and this also applies to "scamming the system" style fraud. So in my mind this seems to be the optimal conditions for any sort of widespread socialism to work. And it barely works here. How anyone thinks the same sort of socialism could work to any degree in the US is beyond me.

    It seems like the US mentality is that any policy can work if you throw enough bureaucracy and layers of regulation at it. This just isn't true. I think the logistics and overhead of applying any Federal policy or scheme to over 300 million people living in an area of 3.8 million square miles will almost always create a cost greater than any potential return. This is without even examining whether it's a good idea in the first place.
    It will not work here because you have more people riding in the wagon opposed to those pulling the wagon. However, the majority of the politiicians think they can solve the ills of the poor by just throwing more money at the problem. A case in point is the pathetic public school system that is riddled with incomptence by union school teachers. Providing welfare mothers with a home, food stamps and walking around money which is determined by how many you have in your brood encourages a pattern of behavior that is passed on from generation to generation. Democratic politicians don't care if they keep the poor down; give them everything and they will continue to vote for them even though they will always remain second class citizens.
     

  5. #45  
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    Quote Originally Posted by m00 View Post
    I don't get this. What do you consider "really highly paid wage workers"? Give me a number here.

    Anyway, my point is that rarely on the Federal level do you find a politician that goes into whatever sub-committee or staff meeting and thinks "how can I benefit the disparate individuals that comprise the American citizenry today?"
    The reason is because working class people don't tend to support labor-friendly measures in this country. We have working class movements like the tea party that support wealthy-interests.

    The vast majority of our population is working class - middle class wage earners who, if collectively pushed for working/middle class policies would have lots of politicians pushing for it as well.

    If you automatically and unequivocally believe that the government is bad, then we will NEVER have a government that represents the PEOPLE, for this very reason.

    Which is why, philosophically, I favor small government with limited powers. But at the same time I don't think there is some deliberate conspiracy between any sort of "wealthy elite" and the upper echelons of civil service.
    Everyone wants some political influence, but the "wealthy elite" have the money, the resources, and the education to have strong political influence. The average americans could have HUGE political influence, just by the number of potential voters, but until need to realize the government can be OUR government, OUR tool, not something that is inherently bad. As it is, the wealthy elite dominate the private economic sector and the more power they get the more they are able to hold it. It's a cycle that can only be broken by strong labor-movements.

    Think about the policies during the industrial revolution, before child labor laws, before minimum wages, before overtime, before OSHA, before all of these measures that were called "SOCIALIST" and "BIG GOVERNMENT". We only got these things because desperate people realized they needed to make the government work for them.

    I just think its a mere matter of humans being fundamentally interested in self-preservation in the workplace (including elected officials), and that the individual American voter doesn't have a whole lot of power at the federal level based on how our system of government operates. And no, I don't think any sort of large organized labor movement is the answer either, since in order to be effective these just end up suffering from the same sorts of issues as large government.
    What sort of issues would a labor party get? If the electorate was demanding enough, we could get change. It's happened many times in our history, and every time these changes were considered anti-American, Socialistic, and were met with great opposition. If we all believe this is inevitable and there's nothing we can do, then the "small government" route is only going to neutralize the one tool the people do have.

    You may only have 1 vote in a federal election, but how much say do you have in the decisions that the board of directors of AIG or Microsoft or Newscorp make? Decisions that affect every facet of our society....
     

  6. #46  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post
    The reason is because working class people don't tend to support labor-friendly measures in this country. We have working class movements like the tea party that support wealthy-interests.

    The vast majority of our population is working class - middle class wage earners who, if collectively pushed for working/middle class policies would have lots of politicians pushing for it as well.

    If you automatically and unequivocally believe that the government is bad, then we will NEVER have a government that represents the PEOPLE, for this very reason.
    3 questions for you:

    1. What wealthy interest does the tea party support, exactly?
    2. What do you consider "really highly paid wage workers", in salary terms?
    3. Logically speaking, what does an inherent mistrust of an amoral entity to be naturally inclined towards moral behavior have to do with the likelihood of accurate representation?

    Everyone wants some political influence, but the "wealthy elite" have the money, the resources, and the education to have strong political influence. The average americans could have HUGE political influence, just by the number of potential voters, but until need to realize the government can be OUR government, OUR tool, not something that is inherently bad. As it is, the wealthy elite dominate the private economic sector and the more power they get the more they are able to hold it. It's a cycle that can only be broken by strong labor-movements.
    If you are suggesting that the failures of government can be largely attributed to those who mistrust it, I completely disagree with that. "If only people would trust government more, then things would be a lot better!" I don't see it.

    Think about the policies during the industrial revolution, before child labor laws, before minimum wages, before overtime, before OSHA, before all of these measures that were called "SOCIALIST" and "BIG GOVERNMENT". We only got these things because desperate people realized they needed to make the government work for them.
    This is nonsense.

    Labor laws came into existence because politicians realized that in the age of factory towns, collective bargaining and unions could define the political makeup of a district. Politicians want to get elected. Therefore, we have labor laws.

    But considering how violent unions become when you try to work outside of them, this isn't any triumph of the common man. Go into a heavily unionized area and try to paint someone's roof. See how long it takes before reps from the local painter's union show up and ask you to pay your dues, or get your legs broken. Unions are simply legitimized mafias.

    What sort of issues would a labor party get? If the electorate was demanding enough, we could get change. It's happened many times in our history, and every time these changes were considered anti-American, Socialistic, and were met with great opposition. If we all believe this is inevitable and there's nothing we can do, then the "small government" route is only going to neutralize the one tool the people do have.
    You did. His name is Obama. Now please don't blame the failure of government under his administration on the people who didn't vote for him.

    You may only have 1 vote in a federal election, but how much say do you have in the decisions that the board of directors of AIG or Microsoft or Newscorp make? Decisions that affect every facet of our society....
    How, exactly, does decisions at Microsoft or Newscorp affect every facet of our society?
     

  7. #47  
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    Quote Originally Posted by m00 View Post
    3 questions for you:

    1. What wealthy interest does the tea party support, exactly?
    2. What do you consider "really highly paid wage workers", in salary terms?
    3. Logically speaking, what does an inherent mistrust of an amoral entity to be naturally inclined towards moral behavior have to do with the likelihood of accurate representation?
    1. Anti-regulation of the financial market
    2. Lower taxes on the wealthy.
    3. Regressive Tax codes
    4. Anti- Social-Programs that primarily benefit the working-and-middle class at the expense of the wealthy (such as health care)


    I'm not speaking strictly in salary terms, I'm talking about people who's income directly is influenced by direction of the very top. For example, upper management positions in large corporations, these people are not technically "owners" but their economic interests are similar to that of the owners.

    However, the regular workers and lower paid wage earners in that company have far different interests than the owners, while certainly they don't want the owners to go out of business, they negotiate with each other for the cost of labor and right now all the chips are on the side of the wealthy CEO's and upper executives.

    Finally, if the electorate unequivocally distrust the government and view it as a bad thing, they will aim to reduce the power it has. If the electorate views the government as THEIR government, they can use it as a tool to further their interests.






    If you are suggesting that the failures of government can be largely attributed to those who mistrust it, I completely disagree with that. "If only people would trust government more, then things would be a lot better!" I don't see it.
    I'm saying that you can't take a "the government is the enemy" stance, take that to the voting booth, and then cry about how the government isn't working for you.



    This is nonsense.

    Labor laws came into existence because politicians realized that in the age of factory towns, collective bargaining and unions could define the political makeup of a district. Politicians want to get elected. Therefore, we have labor laws.
    Right, laborers got together and formed large collectives that gained political power. Today, unions have a tiny minuscule fraction of the power they used to have.

    But considering how violent unions become when you try to work outside of them, this isn't any triumph of the common man. Go into a heavily unionized area and try to paint someone's roof. See how long it takes before reps from the local painter's union show up and ask you to pay your dues, or get your legs broken. Unions are simply legitimized mafias.
    Right I've seen the Sopranos too buddy.




    You did. His name is Obama. Now please don't blame the failure of government under his administration on the people who didn't vote for him.
    And everyone who voted for Obama, and those who did not, need to hold him accountable.



    How, exactly, does decisions at Microsoft or Newscorp affect every facet of our society?
    The News you get, the television you watch, the worldview that is shaped in common perception, add in a few more corporations and you get the food we eat, the medicine we take, the doctors we see, the transportation we take, the ENTIRE ECONOMY, the amount of money you make, the amount of people who have jobs, the standard of living we expect, so on and so on.
     

  8. #48  
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    A regressive tax code? What bullshit. I love the way the left spins lowing taxes on the people who actually PAY them.
    Stand up for what is right, even if you have to stand alone.
     

  9. #49  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wei Wu Wei View Post


    The News you get, the television you watch, the worldview that is shaped in common perception, add in a few more corporations and you get the food we eat, the medicine we take, the doctors we see, the transportation we take, the ENTIRE ECONOMY, the amount of money you make, the amount of people who have jobs, the standard of living we expect, so on and so on.
    That is a very strange response. I really believe you should branch out from the sources and opinions where you get your information. You seem firmly mired in some kind of distillation of the more extreme, reactionary highlights of current liberal thinking.

    When I take apart that statement, the first thing that strikes me is the tendency I've always noticed of how liberals insult the intelligence of the average American. For example, you don't believe the average person has the ability to search farther than the mainstream media to find facts and information, or that they can detect lies and BS when they hear it. You exaggerate the gullibility of people, and believe they are all sheep who can't think for themselves, and easily succumb to the brainwashing power of media or corporate advertising.

    The second most obvious fact that stands out is your continued inference that all corporations are part of some inter-connected evil cabal, whose sole purpose is to dominate American culture and society and negatively affect aspects of life. It's as if you believe that because they have profit as a goal, they can contribute nothing of benefit or value to consumers. It's hilarious that you include Micorsoft in there.

    You mentioned that corporations control the food we eat. I'm sure you meant in the negative sense, i.e heavily processed, chemical laden, bad for us, etc.
    Well take a look at Whole Foods, a corporation itself. Whole Foods makes profits by selling to people who are looking for healthier, organic, and "greener" sources of products and sustenance. That fact alone breaks the foundation of you argument because it shows a couple of salient points. First, that corporations don't have the omnipotent control that you insist, and in this case they couldn't dominate and fully control the market of what people eat. Second, that market forces do work in positive ways. If enough people object to practices or products of companies, nothing stops other sources from growing to fill the needs of consumers looking for alternatives.
     

  10. #50  
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    The irony floors me when Wei wei starts talking about the "evil" corperations after praising the stupid health care "reform" after it was passed. and when some of the biggest Leftist in the world are the super wealthy, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, George Soros, Steve Jobs
     

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