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  1. #1 I am a (relative) liberal - ask me anything 
    Junior Member Epimetheus's Avatar
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    Hello!

    I was inspired by a conservative who opened a similar topic on a left-leaning (though non-political) forum. Here's the link to the thread, for those who are curious: http://www.teamliquid.net/blogs/view...opic_id=332409

    To copy his tagline: If there is anything that a member of CU would sincerely like to ask regarding either liberal beliefs or justifications thereof, I'd like to answer to the best of my ability.

    As a caveat, I can't possibly speak for all liberals, and in many cases I won't even agree with them. Unlike the original poster of the linked thread, I am not involved in politics - my motive isn't to convert people to my way of thinking, even if I were articulate enough to be capable of this. But it will certainly be an interesting experience for me, and perhaps for others here as well.

    In case it is helpful, here is a bit of information about myself.

    Demographics: Young, male, non-religious engineer living in the Chicago suburbs.

    Politics: One of the more fitting summarizations of my views I've read recently was Post-Modern group from Pew (http://www.people-press.org/2011/05/...roup-profiles/). I've voted for the last two libertarian candidates for president, mostly out of wishing there was a viable third party. In midterms and local elections I tend to side with Democratic candidates. I don't consider Obama to be a particularly good or particularly bad president. Of the 2012 GOP presidential candidates, Huntsman was the only one who would have gotten my vote; Romney and Paul were ok. I disliked the rest of the field to varying degrees.
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    Senior Member LukeEDay's Avatar
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    I will start with a simple question: Why do liberals hate baby's but love convicted murderers?

    I love my God, my country, my flag, and my troops ....
    _ WELFARE IS NOT AN ENTITLEMENT! _
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member Molon Labe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LukeEDay View Post
    I will start with a simple question: Why do liberals hate baby's but love convicted murderers?
    Their are shitloads of hypocrisy on the left.


    Maybe the OP can watch this and list all the Fail and Cognitive dissonance on display.


    Gun Control: The theory that a woman found dead in an alley, raped and strangled with her panty hose, is somehow morally superior to a woman explaining to police how her attacker got that fatal bullet wound - Unknown


    The problem is Empty People, Not Loaded Guns - Linda Schrock Taylor
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    Senior Member TVDOC's Avatar
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    I would only ask WHY are you a quasi-liberal?

    You state that you are an engineer by profession (as am I), and by definition engineers are thinking people, with their cognative processes firmly rooted in facts.........

    Liberalism is the antithesis of cognitive thought.......liberalism is firmly rooted in emotion, not the quest for truth. Liberals make up their own "facts and truth" as they go along, or bend them to fit their agenda.......unless you eventually develop some political maturity, and if you allow your admittedly ambivilant political philosophies to color your career......you'll make a lousy engineer...........

    doc
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    Junior Member Epimetheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TVDOC View Post
    I would only ask WHY are you a quasi-liberal?

    You state that you are an engineer by profession (as am I), and by definition engineers are thinking people, with their cognative processes firmly rooted in facts.........

    Liberalism is the antithesis of cognitive thought.......liberalism is firmly rooted in emotion, not the quest for truth. Liberals make up their own "facts and truth" as they go along, or bend them to fit their agenda.......unless you eventually develop some political maturity, and if you allow your admittedly ambivilant political philosophies color your career......you'll make a lousy engineer...........

    doc
    To me, the tendency to seek or shape information to fit one's current viewpoint or agenda is simply a human trait, not a liberal or conservative thing. I absolutely agree that it is critical to overcome it in the engineering profession. I suppose if I could see some evidence that being liberal makes one worse at this, I would consider it. But as it stands, I don't see why this would be the case.

    I don't think many politicians are outright lying through their teeth, but folks on both sides of the aisle twist facts into talking points that don't withstand even the most cursory examination. I'm sure you all can point to countless examples of Democrats doing this that I would agree with (Obama's sequester fear-mongering is a recent example); I consider Bachmann to be one of the worse examples of this on the conservative side.

    Quote Originally Posted by DumbAss Tanker View Post
    I just have a difficult time envisioning how anyone who can count beyond 10 with his shoes on and rationally observe the legacy of liberal social policies from LBJ onward can avoid becoming at least a fiscal Conservative, Social Conservative and Libertarian Conservative issues aside.
    I do not have firm views on fiscal policy; it's probably the topic I'm most interested in hearing about here.

    Here's my starting point: I know enough about economics to know I don't know nearly enough about economics. We like to assume people are rational but they often aren't. We have tons of economics 'experts' who have organized themselves into tribes and throw rocks at each-other.

    With so many variables involved in economics, it is difficult to really see what causes and effects are. Was Clinton our best fiscal president for having budget surpluses? Was he just lucky for being president during a bull market? Or was he actually bad for contributing to the events leading up to the 2007 collapse?

    I'm guessing the first question wouldn't get a 'yes' here, but my point is that there are so many ways to slice data that it's easy for anyone to find some pattern that fits their preconceptions and run with it.

    The debt does concern me somewhat, but I don't find analogies between government spending and household spending compelling. When the interest rates the US government gets are so low, it's seems almost impossible that the government wouldn't be able to get a better return on investment than that by borrowing, even if it is less efficient at spending money than corporations. So the answer isn't to have no debt. I can't tell you where I think we should draw the line, though.
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    Destroyer of Worlds Apocalypse's Avatar
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    I'll add some, and I'll use actual recent news items.



    Why is it the responsibility for tax payers to fund sex change operations? Its not necessary to save any one's life.



    Why is it the majority of violent people who act in this manor coming from the compassionate tolerant left? Last 10 major shootings, overwhelmingly have been committed by leftest. Why is that?



    Why is it evil and completely unacceptable for ordinary people to own a firearm for their family's protection, but those who are calling to get rid of guns the one's surrounded by, and committing some of the worst with them?



    Didn't Obama save the eccon? Is it not in a roaring recovery as he stated time and again thanks to his quick actions? Then why are those on food-stamps skyrocketing?
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  7. #7  
    Senior Member LukeEDay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Epimetheus View Post
    To me, the tendency to seek or shape information to fit one's current viewpoint or agenda is simply a human trait, not a liberal or conservative thing. I absolutely agree that it is critical to overcome it in the engineering profession. I suppose if I could see some evidence that being liberal makes one worse at this, I would consider it. But as it stands, I don't see why this would be the case.

    I don't think many politicians are outright lying through their teeth, but folks on both sides of the aisle twist facts into talking points that don't withstand even the most cursory examination. I'm sure you all can point to countless examples of Democrats doing this that I would agree with (Obama's sequester fear-mongering is a recent example); I consider Bachmann to be one of the worse examples of this on the conservative side.



    I do not have firm views on fiscal policy; it's probably the topic I'm most interested in hearing about here.

    Here's my starting point: I know enough about economics to know I don't know nearly enough about economics. We like to assume people are rational but they often aren't. We have tons of economics 'experts' who have organized themselves into tribes and throw rocks at each-other.

    With so many variables involved in economics, it is difficult to really see what causes and effects are. Was Clinton our best fiscal president for having budget surpluses? Was he just lucky for being president during a bull market? Or was he actually bad for contributing to the events leading up to the 2007 collapse?

    I'm guessing the first question wouldn't get a 'yes' here, but my point is that there are so many ways to slice data that it's easy for anyone to find some pattern that fits their preconceptions and run with it.

    The debt does concern me somewhat, but I don't find analogies between government spending and household spending compelling. When the interest rates the US government gets are so low, it's seems almost impossible that the government wouldn't be able to get a better return on investment than that by borrowing, even if it is less efficient at spending money than corporations. So the answer isn't to have no debt. I can't tell you where I think we should draw the line, though.
    Understanding economics starts with understanding that you can't spend what you do not have, and to be able to spend more, you have to cut. A liberals view of economics is to spend more and tax more. There is no cutting back and there is no stopping the spending. They feel they can spend their way out of everything.

    Case in point: They take the Keynesian theory to extreme. What Keynes said was to either 1) Cut taxes, 2) Raise spending, or 3) Do both. The liberals just want to spend and raise taxes. They have no realization of reality at all. They know absolutely nothing about economics. You will see that the Republicans do know, because they always say that they will agree to more spending if they cut taxes, or agree to more taxes is they cut spending. It is never the other way around.

    Ad for Clinton. He was not the fiscal guru the liberals are claiming. His policies didn't raise the economy. The dot com bubble at the time did. He taxes the shit out of the winners who were making millions off their internet ventures. Then when that crashed, Bush lowered the tax rates. So anyone who thinks that Clinton is an economical genius is more stupid the Kardashians on Jeopardy.

    I love my God, my country, my flag, and my troops ....
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  8. #8  
    Senior Member DumbAss Tanker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Epimetheus View Post
    I do not have firm views on fiscal policy; it's probably the topic I'm most interested in hearing about here.

    Here's my starting point: I know enough about economics to know I don't know nearly enough about economics. We like to assume people are rational but they often aren't. We have tons of economics 'experts' who have organized themselves into tribes and throw rocks at each-other.
    People are rational economically, but that is in terms of their own frame of reference, and has nothing to do with values, aspirations, etc. in any direct way. For instance, if 99 weeks of UE comp are available instead of 13, people will tend to stay on it longer looking for the 'Best' job (By their own measure); food stamps, HUD rent supplements, free cell phones the same way...everything that takes the pain out of being low on the totem pole makes it easier for more people to stay low on the totem pole, and over time more tend to do it. The programs work as intended - a temporary leg up - for only the well-socialized of beneficiaries, but as an expected premium for going nowhere by an ever-growing entitlement-dependent class. Same kind of thing with disability - if you can qualify for it by any stretch (And there are plenty of lawyers specializing in entitlement law who will be glad to take and groom your case), getting the payments and staying home is a better deal than earning the same after-tax amount (Or less) by getting off your ass to work 40-plus hours a week...and a lot of people who aren't keen on working at all have realized that.

    With so many variables involved in economics, it is difficult to really see what causes and effects are. Was Clinton our best fiscal president for having budget surpluses? Was he just lucky for being president during a bull market? Or was he actually bad for contributing to the events leading up to the 2007 collapse?
    Presidents really have Jack to do with the economy, outside of very major executive branch actions like imposing CA emissions standards nationwide by regulatory fiat. The housing bubble had virtually nothing to do with G. W. Bush's policies, and everything to do with institutionalized Leftist race-related policies in DOJ's Civil Rights branch bureaucracy and a politically-neutral SEC that was asleep at the switch on the issue of derivative trading. Clinton's rep for having a fantastic economy was due to two things, the dot-com boom that he had nothing whatsoever to do with, and the fact that he had an opposition Congress for six years that wouldn't let him do any major expensive social programs. There was the little thing about the Cold War ending and some significant economic benefits from that which took a couple of years to mature.

    I'm guessing the first question wouldn't get a 'yes' here, but my point is that there are so many ways to slice data that it's easy for anyone to find some pattern that fits their preconceptions and run with it.
    It's really macro, not micro, on the economy during a President's term, i.e. trends and policy consequences rather than number-crunching. Right-wing pundits are often as guilty as Leftists on misapplying that, to be sure.

    The debt does concern me somewhat, but I don't find analogies between government spending and household spending compelling. When the interest rates the US government gets are so low, it's seems almost impossible that the government wouldn't be able to get a better return on investment than that by borrowing, even if it is less efficient at spending money than corporations. So the answer isn't to have no debt. I can't tell you where I think we should draw the line, though.
    Not that keen on the household analogy myself; after all, governments can do two things households can't - deficit spending and printing money. Both can be most useful in an emergency, unfortunately they have become institutionalized to the point that they are propping up the current fake recovery, such as it is. There have been ugly demonstrations of worst-case events when this happens, in post WW1 Germany and more recently Zimbabwe, though we aren't in immediate danger of ending up that way...we are, however, starting down the same roads they took.
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  9. #9  
    Junior Member Epimetheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LukeEDay View Post
    I will start with a simple question: Why do liberals hate baby's but love convicted murderers?
    I am indeed pro-choice, and I'm willing to go into that if people would like - not sure I would call it a 'simple' issue, however. I genuinely don't know what you're referencing with the second part - I personally have no love of convicted murderers

    Quote Originally Posted by Molon Labe View Post
    Their are shitloads of hypocrisy on the left.
    Maybe the OP can watch this and list all the Fail and Cognitive dissonance on display.
    Don't worry, these people make me cringe too.
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  10. #10  
    Senior Member DumbAss Tanker's Avatar
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    I just have a difficult time envisioning how anyone who can count beyond 10 with his shoes on and rationally observe the legacy of liberal social policies from LBJ onward can avoid becoming at least a fiscal Conservative, Social Conservative and Libertarian Conservative issues aside.
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