U.S. Politics

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ChewbaccaD said:
What you are suggesting is an unproven theory. The only thing we can be sure of with your solution is that the most wealthy will increase their wealth.
No, it's proven. Not to work. There's plenty of economic history that is ignored on this point. Really, there's no arguing for austerity if you examine economic history.

Austerity is more broken economic theory designed to capture the wealth of nations. That's the point.
 
Scott SoCal said:
I'm speaking specifically about Obamacare.
Wait, isn't that RomneyCare 2.0? Have you forgotten about the State experiment used as the template for a national solution to lowering health care costs?

Let's revisit the R's perfect circle for a moment.

The U.S. has some of the highest health care costs in the industrialized world in and, as a result, the least access to what health care is available. It's the individual's fault they cannot afford the most advanced healthcare system in the world. High-fives all around!!!

The market works perfectly. Pay no attention to the fact the pool of consumers is shrinking. It's still a functioning market.
 
Sep 10, 2009
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ChewbaccaD said:
There is absolutely no proof for that statement. Austerity is proving to be a pretty p!ss poor way for Europe,
Austerity is a ****ing disaster for the economy at any time, but especially during a slow recovery.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/05/march-jobs-report-unemployment-rate_n_3019564.html

But the Rs don't actually believe in austerity but they know that positioning themselves as "austerians" helps to contrast them when they try to paint Obama and the Ds as out-of-control tax-and-spenders - they're the tax-and-spenders, we're the prudent and responsible austerians. But one only has to look at the pattern of R voting and actions during the Bush years, where they enthusiastically supported every spending bill and tax cut and rise in the debt ceiling that came their way for 8 years to know that it's all nonsense, of course. It's all just talk - Rs have no intention of ever implementing severe austerity measures, they know it would be not only a complete economic disaster but a political one as well.

Not to mention of course that one of the pillars of austerity as an economic theory has recently revealed to be based on flawed data and data analysis (if not outright fraud).
 
Mar 17, 2009
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Glenn_Wilson said:
Yes there is drive within certain people that can go a long way.

I know that we both have former classmates and friends from the block that had drive but yet the willpower and drive to get out was not enough by itself. I don't have the answers. I wish like hell I did.

For example my sister was what I would call back in the day...a smart kid. She had drive and was an exceptional student. She never done anything outside of our home area and has no desire to do anything either. She makes around 18 to 20 grand a year and most of the time has happiness. More than I do sometimes. She has never been on assistance from the state or government with the exception of the health department of the state to get vaccinations for her children. I begged her to move over to Houston Texas after Hurricane Katrina devastated her and left her in a Fema Camp. She refused the offer to live off of my dime.

I would argue that people in her situation would benefit from some redistribution. There are many working people that need some help.
that's a big part of the problem imo. like chewie pointed out, the system is designed to provide barest sustenance, but no avenue to escape. opportunity for inner city kids and poor rural kids is not even remotely like the opportunity that i was born with. our college education were paid for if we chose that option. we were never hungry, we had a nice house, nice clothes etc. we weren't wealthy but we were very comfortable suburbanites. all of those things weren't a guarantee that i would be successful, but they damn sure tilted the bar in my favor and gave me the tools to make some of the fortuitous decisions that allowed me to do well. i had great parents, great schools, teachers. is it even remotely fair to think that a kid born to a 14 year old drop out mother, in dangerous drug infested neighborhoods, where the succes model is the local bling covered crack dealer, has the tools to make those same good decisions?
 
VeloCity said:
positioning themselves as "austerians" helps to contrast them from their portrayal of Obama and the Ds as out-of-control tax-and-spenders.
And yet the D's have no response to this bit of rhetoric and haven't for decades. If the D's recent goal to promote a country with a vibrant middle class, class mobility, and economic activity, it would be easy to tear into the R's. But, that's not their goal.

I don't know what goals they have, but it seems they are about the same as moderate R's. They've got a moderate R with Obama.
 
Glenn_Wilson said:
I would argue that people in her situation would benefit from some redistribution. There are many working people that need some help.
According to the perfect Republican circle, they have to make their own opportunities. Which, is ridiculous. But, that's the ideology.
 
DirtyWorks said:
And yet the D's have no response to this bit of rhetoric and haven't for decades. If the D's recent goal to promote a country with a vibrant middle class, class mobility, and economic activity, it would be easy to tear into the R's. But, that's not their goal.

I don't know what goals they have, but it seems they are about the same as moderate R's. They've got a moderate R with Obama.
This is what is called staying the course and, therefore, evading the risk of taking another route. Let's at least hope the left has the honesty, from here on out, to admit to such: namely, that it made a choice.
 
Sep 10, 2009
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Well, there goes that one, too.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/04/25/no-congress-isnt-trying-to-exempt-itself-from-obamacare/

There’s a Politico story making the rounds that says that members of Congress are engaged in secret, sensitive negotiations to exempt themselves and their staffs from Obamacare.The story has blown up on Twitter. “Unbelievable,” tweets TPM’s Brian Beutler. “Flat out incredible,” says Politico’s Ben White. “Obamacare for thee, but not for me,” snarks Ben Domenech. “Two thumbs way, way down,” says Richard Roeper. (Okay, I made the last one up). If this sounds unbelievable, it’s because it is. There’s no effort to “exempt” Congress from Obamacare. No matter how this shakes out, Congress will have to follow the law, just like everyone else does. Based on conversations I’ve had with a number of the staffs involved in these talks, the actual issue here is far less interesting, and far less explosive, than an exemption. Rather, a Republican amendment meant to embarrass Democrats and a too-clever-by-half Democratic response has possibly created a problem in which the federal government can’t make its normal contribution to the insurance premiums of congressional staffers.
So, back to Solyndra and Benghazi, I guess.
 
Sep 10, 2009
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A small step, but in the right direction at least.

http://www.theroot.com/blogs/blogging-beltway/obama-evolving-marijuana

On Wednesday the Obama administration unveiled a new strategy for its drug policy...But also noteworthy is the Obama administration's new softer tone, particularly on the issue of marijuana. It appears that the administration may finally be ready to put the so-called drug war to bed and replace it with a much more commonsense drug policy focused on rehabilitation, not incarceration.
Focuses only on marijuana at the moment, but hopefully it'll expand to narcotics and the absurd "war on drugs" will be replaced with sensible drug policies.
 
Sep 10, 2009
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So much for the need for the 2nd Amendment.

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/04/owning-guns-doesnt-preserve-freedom/275287/

"That's what separates this country," noted Brian Mobley, a concealed handgun trainer in League City, which also boasts the highest number of concealed-gun licenses in Texas. "We're the most heavily armed country in the world, but we're also the freest country in the world."

Fortunately, we can assess such an argument not through historic hagiography and patriotic revision, but through the facts at hand. If such a right correlates so directly with democratic freedoms within America, such realities should exist elsewhere, correct?

Not exactly. Compiling data from the most recent Small Arms Survey (SAS), the most wide-ranging international survey of civilian gun ownership, and the Freedom House Index, which tabulates both political rights and civil liberties, it's apparent that the correlation between democratic structures and a well-armed citizenry is, at best, slight.

"I don't see any trend," said Arch Puddington, vice president of research at Freedom House. "Press freedom, the freedom of expression, is a pretty good indicator of the direction a country is going in -- if leadership is circumscribing the freedom of expression, the likelihood is that they're doing other unworthy things as well." But a link between an armed citizenry and democratic realities? "That's baloney."

If a widely armed populace isn't necessarily required to maintain democracy, then at least it's a requisite for revolution.

The data deflates that argument, too, though. As it is, ten nations among the survey's bottom 26 gun owners -- from Niger and Togo to Fiji and the Central African Republic -- have undergone anti-autocracy movements and governmental shifts within the past decade. But only seven nations within the survey's top eighty most-armed nations, including Iraq, have experienced similar movements since 2003. As for the nation with the lowest civilian arms rate in the world? That honor belongs to Tunisia, which sparked the greatest set of pro-democracy revolutions this century.
 
Sep 10, 2009
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Ron Paul, proving yet again that libertarians are completely insane.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/04/25/the-ron-paul-institute-be-afraid-very-afraid.html

What’s so ironic is that so-called libertarians are defending nationalist politicians who never hesitate to use the full powers of the state in quashing the personal freedoms of their citizenry (witness the bizarre spectacle of McAdams, who advocates a massive reduction in the size and scope of the American government, here defending the chosen successor of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, a revolutionary socialist who nationalized everything he could lay his hands on, against a nonexistent, American-backed “color revolution” to unseat him). In the Ron Paul Institute, we see a group of people supposedly prioritizing limited government and personal freedom shilling on behalf of regimes which have actually implemented the very sort of surveillance state policies these civil liberties obsessives routinely cry are being imposed on unsuspecting Americans by Democratic and Republican politicians alike.
And that Paul is still a racist.
And what would an enterprise featuring Ron Paul be without a little Civil War revisionism? For that, there’s Walter Block, an anarcho-capitalist professor of economics and fellow at the Mises Institute. Like many in Rockwell’s neo-Confederate circle, Block believes that the wrong side won the “war against Southern succession” and blames most of America’s current problems on “the monster Lincoln.”
"blames most of America's current problems on the monster Lincoln". Wonder what that could possibly refer to, eh?

But it cannot surprise anyone at this point that the sorts of things that horrify decent people do not horrify Ron Paul.
Yep, 'cept the extreme right aren't really decent people.
 
ChewbaccaD said:
Philosophical arguments and academic pontification over the parasitic effects of capitalism are great for educating people. They are about as important to the poor as used toilet paper when it comes to actually living day to day. And I don't see a lot of academics doing anything real for the poor other than fighting a useless game of mental chess with someone who opposes their ideas.

My point is that those who cry over the poor in ivory towers are as far removed from the poor as a CEO.
Listen Chewbacca I have about as much interest in "pontification" as does the pope (Francesco is it this time?). You have an intellectual confidence that betrays insecurity. Though one wonders why?

My point was that there are other ways to think of society. I have witnessed poor Calabrian kids who have access to a civic life that would be unfathomable in north Philly.

Me in ivory towers? Pfff. Were that I had pursued a legal career. :cool:
 
May 27, 2012
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rhubroma said:
Listen Chewbacca I have about as much interest in "pontification" as does the pope (Francesco is it this time?). You have an intellectual confidence that betrays insecurity. Though one wonders why?

My point was that there are other ways to think of society. I have witnessed poor Calabrian kids who have access to a civic life that would be unfathomable in north Philly.

Me in ivory towers? Pfff. Were that I had pursued a legal career. :cool:
I struck a nerve. How about the next time, instead of observing poor kids, maybe get involved with them...oh, and thanks for unwittingly giving evidence for my assertion, though something tells me that you might be an exception to my point.

EDIT: Aside from the above snark, my point was also much more general than you appear to appreciate. (admittedly, I had someone in mind with that comment, but it wasn't you...though I may have made you the proxy for my point) I don't know what you do in terms of helping poor people; if you are directly involved with organizations that help them, you have my admiration.
 
Nov 8, 2012
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DirtyWorks said:
The point of the comment is that big business drives industrial, social, financial and most of all intellectual property policy matters. As a result of their policy preferences, it is safe to characterize the American economy at the moment as mature.

Big business employs relatively few, yet commands most of their market segment dollars in a loose regulatory capitalism system as is working in the U.S.
I disagree.

There are new frontiers, for sure, that will be developed. Renewable energy as an example.

Are we going to grow at a 7-10% annualized GDP? No. But mature markets generally precipitate a decline and I don't think we are anywhere near that.
 
Nov 8, 2012
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DirtyWorks said:
Wait, isn't that RomneyCare 2.0? Have you forgotten about the State experiment used as the template for a national solution to lowering health care costs?

Let's revisit the R's perfect circle for a moment.

The U.S. has some of the highest health care costs in the industrialized world in and, as a result, the least access to what health care is available. It's the individual's fault they cannot afford the most advanced healthcare system in the world. High-fives all around!!!

The market works perfectly. Pay no attention to the fact the pool of consumers is shrinking. It's still a functioning market.
Wait, isn't that RomneyCare 2.0? Have you forgotten about the State experiment used as the template for a national solution to lowering health care costs?
Is that what it was? Never made it to Cali.

The U.S. has some of the highest health care costs in the industrialized world
Yep. Cutting edge cancer care and ridiculous expenditures for end of life care. We just need a good death panel and we'll cut our costs significantly.

The market works perfectly
I guess we'll have to revisit this comment once we all get a taste of single payor HC, American style.
 
Nov 8, 2012
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VeloCity said:
but especially during a slow recovery.
It's four years since the great recession ended.

Next year you will be lamenting the slow recovery again. I'm only shocked even you have given up blaming Bush.
 
VeloCity said:
Ron Paul, proving yet again that libertarians are completely insane.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/04/25/the-ron-paul-institute-be-afraid-very-afraid.html



And that Paul is still a racist.
"blames most of America's current problems on the monster Lincoln". Wonder what that could possibly refer to, eh?

Yep, 'cept the extreme right aren't really decent people.
Ron Paul gets quite a lot of support from the nutty left. It's probably his main base. There were even socialists in Spain holding rallies for him. His son seems to get more of the extreme right support for the anti civil rights crap etc.
 
Aug 10, 2010
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When it becomes too expensive for ordinary people to pay for a cancer cure, then it's time for a major reallocation of wealth.
 
Aug 10, 2010
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BroDeal said:
A modern sporting rifle is required for today's wily, fast moving, high tech game. It's a new world out there. You can't go huntin' with no musket anymore.
Kentucky long rifle can still do the job for a man who knows what he's doing.
 
ChewbaccaD said:
I struck a nerve. How about the next time, instead of observing poor kids, maybe get involved with them...oh, and thanks for unwittingly giving evidence for my assertion, though something tells me that you might be an exception to my point.

EDIT: Aside from the above snark, my point was also much more general than you appear to appreciate. (admittedly, I had someone in mind with that comment, but it wasn't you...though I may have made you the proxy for my point) I don't know what you do in terms of helping poor people; if you are directly involved with organizations that help them, you have my admiration.
No you didn't strike a nerve. I was just responding to what you said, of which I have had some familiarity that's all.

Back in the 90's I taught at a pilot charter school frequented by kids from the Philly hood. Corporate America's "solution" to the problem with inner city public schools. It was a complete zoo. The administration was inept, however, the board of directors could at least pat themselves on the back and feel as if they were doing some community good. I've worked with some inner city kids who are part of a university funded assistance program. From me they get culture - food for thought, which may or may not enrich them I don't know, though it certainly provides an alternative perspective to the slums where they grew up. On the other hand the beggars frequently aren’t refused any pocket change I can spare, an act that often Romans on the metro or buses are also willing to concede. Although recently I’ve been short on change. I little from many goes a long way so it seems. At any rate in Italy most of the volunteer work happens through the religious institutions. Not being religious doesn't lend itself to participation though. Though there are the centri sociali (social centers), which the right thinks are coves of communists, that are involved with community help activities, mostly university students and activists from the 60's, 70's and 80's. I frequent one in the San Lorenzo quarter, which was notorious during the led years of the 70's as a haunting ground of the local Brigante Rosso (it no longer is of course), and pitch in when I can. The right has no corresponding affiliations, except for neo-fascist ones like Casa Pound, though they're not exaclty commited to helping immigrants, or struggling folk of the working class (yet in their own warped ideology they have a "social" aspect). Then there are my immigrant friends - people from Africa, South America, Eastern Europe and South Asia, as well as some Romans - at the occupied abandoned arms factory from the WWII era, at which they recently successfully obtained the municiple permits to live without rent, so long as they maintain it, and even opened a trattoria on the premises that serves food they make at a cheap cost (4 euro or something like that for pasta or couscous, meat course, salad, bread and a carafe of wine!). I support them when the occasion arises. A cycling friend, who by the way is a damn strong climber, and school teacher at a school with kids of difficult backgrounds has organized with me nature outings with them to see ruins. It's all about creating community, which was my original point.

At any rate as the Italians say about Italians, nobody's got any money, but nobody starves. Of course that's not entirely true, but there is some truth in it. Malnutrition is a thing of the past, at least. Their sense of community and public infrastructure seems to have protected them from the worst cases of destitution and ghettoization. The only really desperate cases are the immigrants from Africa when they arrive, but the state health care covers them (as it doesn't refuse anyone, citizen and non-citizen alike, and nobody complains except the wingnuts among the Northern League - I'm sure Scott is beside himself on that). The social collectives or the nuns provide temporary food and shelter when they arrive. Mafia organized black market commerce in Gucci rip-offs and the like keeps them “employed” for the many not fortunate enough to find a legitimate job. They often, though, have to live in cramped flats in excessive numbers. I imagine it was rather the same for the southern Italians who arrived in New York at the beginning of the XX century. Funny how wealth and opportunity is a draw for poverty and we’re not even talking about post-industrial America.
 
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