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Re: Political Orientation

Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:49 am

Realistically, the US was a much more "socialistic" society during the Cold War (irony, anyone?) than it is currently. 90% top marginal tax rate on personal income, and a top marginal tax rate of more than 50% on businesses was the norm at the height of that era (the 50's and 60's); and growth was it at its highest ever, at that point in time (relatively speaking). The high rates were offset by legitimate incentives for individuals and companies to follow--such as keeping business domestic, and paying employees are certain amount. At that point, too, the federal government was far more involved with regulating the market, and keeping investment banks completely separate from deposit/savings banks.

Everything worked, because the government had the capital it needed to keep everything running. Along came the idiotic notion of "keep your government hands off my social security/medicare" brought on and instilled by the gluts on the right, perceived and delivered by corporate interests tired of having to actually earn incentives and wanting to pay less while doing less (among many other fallacies pervaded by the likes of Ayn Rand and her subscribers), and the services provided by the government started to fall apart. Then came the monkeys jumping up and down, screaming how the government doesn't work.

For those who subscribe to this anti-socialist notion, here's what you'd be saying we should not have:

1) A postal system that has generally been among the world's best for the better part of two centuries

2) Paved roads in nearly every major part of the US (excepting Alaska)

3) A school system that taught the vast majority of you how to read, write, and comprehend basic math, and (hopefully) taught you at least basic history

4) An emergency services system (police, medical, and fire) that responds to you relatively immediately and effectively--whom most like to decry, up until you actually need help

5) A standardized, elite military that has protected our borders, and the borders of others, for the better part of two entire centuries

6) A public works system that built and maintains water and electricity running into the majority of your homes


So yes, keep whining about the limited taxes you actually spend, and Obama keeps at or below 30% (lowest rates in the history of this country), and how much you're tired of paying for someone else's well-being. One day, after people (hopefully) wake up and realize how far their heads have gone up their asses, all of this stupidity will make for excellent cinema.

Re: Political Orientation

Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:24 am

Dark Spark wrote:
Mrs T wrote: ...I don't know 'bout your tea party specifically but what's with all the extreme right wing parties that have been springing up lately?
I know they've always been there but why did they start getting votes all of a sudden? :?

Obama. Quite simply, he is the most socialist President to have ever taken office in the United States, a proponent of the notion that the State will best provide. Insourcing, bureaucracy, mandates.

Whether or not that is a good or bad thing isn't the issue. The ultra-conservative movements that have sprung up are a direct response to his adminstration. Sadly, the only way that some of these movements make their response is to do the exact opposite of whatever Obama tries to do— logic or the greater good be damned.


Yeah, all those ultra-conservatives, not going along with what the Big 'Bama wants to do. All I gotta say is: thank God the ultra-conservatives are getting it right for a change!

I do like how you call Obama "the most socialist President to have ever taken office". Most folks like to keep that tidbit on the DL... but sadly, it's not true. In the realm of authoritarian statist cheerleaders, FDR and Wilson still have him beat.

Eltee wrote:And in a brief response to Doros: Everyone seems to regard socialism as being some untried, experimental scheme that would inevitably end in failure.


How is this a "response" to me, or to anything I said? Nobody regards socialism is untried, outside of a few grumpy socialist apologists. It has most certainly been tried, over and over again. Nazi Germany, the USSR, Cambodia, Cuba, Romania, Libya, Greece, China before Deng fixed Mao's stupid economic theories and turned the country around.

Look, if you want to "respond" to me, then start with the questions I actually raised: assuming you buy into this collectivist nonsense (say it ain't so!), how do you ethically justify a system based on coercion and the routine violation of individual rights? And how do you deal with the cognitive dissonance resulting from "opposing the over-privileged wealthy" by supporting a system that gives even more privileged to an even smaller caste of even wealthier rich guys?

Re: Political Orientation

Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:42 am

Saying the National Socialists were Socialists is like saying the Democratic Republic of Korea is Democratic. :)

Any government, by definition, and by the imposition of tax and law of any kind, violates 'individual rights' and is based on coercion. (even moreso when billions of dollars are spent on a military.) The individual right I am more concerned about is the right of every person to life. The right to adequate medical care, the right a person has to education (and therefore the ability to better themselves, in the manner so espoused by capitalists) the right of a person to shelter, and so on. The right of a person to live, regardless of the socioeconomic situation they were born into, or are forced into through no fault of their own... or even as a safety net for those who fall out of grace through their own mistakes.

So, I am not particularly bothered by the rights of a person who is deprived of a larger share of their millions, to be quite honest.

...opposing the over-privileged wealthy" by supporting a system that gives even more privileged to an even smaller caste of even wealthier rich guys?
:| Sure.

Re: Political Orientation

Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:43 am

DorostheConqueror wrote:
Dark Spark wrote:
Mrs T wrote: ...I don't know 'bout your tea party specifically but what's with all the extreme right wing parties that have been springing up lately?
I know they've always been there but why did they start getting votes all of a sudden? :?

Obama. Quite simply, he is the most socialist President to have ever taken office in the United States, a proponent of the notion that the State will best provide. Insourcing, bureaucracy, mandates.

Whether or not that is a good or bad thing isn't the issue. The ultra-conservative movements that have sprung up are a direct response to his adminstration. Sadly, the only way that some of these movements make their response is to do the exact opposite of whatever Obama tries to do— logic or the greater good be damned.


Yeah, all those ultra-conservatives, not going along with what the Big 'Bama wants to do. All I gotta say is: thank God the ultra-conservatives are getting it right for a change!

Bah. Some are doing it right. Many are doing it wrong. I don't agree with everything the Adminstration does. I just wish the opposition knew how to fight more smartly.

Re: Political Orientation

Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:49 am

As long as half of America likes them fighting dumb, they will continue to fight dumb.

Re: Political Orientation

Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:01 am

Scozzar wrote:
Gideon Dragontongue wrote:And, of course, funding wars, which make them more money, so they can then fall from a greater height.


What? That makes no sense. If we're funding wars, doesn't that mean we're giving money away?

The entity that is the US government is, but giving it away to the capitalists who construct all the equipment and supplies, hence making them richer.

Re: Political Orientation

Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:10 am

House of the Wolf wrote:Realistically, the US was a much more "socialistic" society during the Cold War (irony, anyone?) than it is currently. 90% top marginal tax rate on personal income, and a top marginal tax rate of more than 50% on businesses was the norm at the height of that era (the 50's and 60's); and growth was it at its highest ever, at that point in time (relatively speaking). The high rates were offset by legitimate incentives for individuals and companies to follow--such as keeping business domestic, and paying employees are certain amount. At that point, too, the federal government was far more involved with regulating the market, and keeping investment banks completely separate from deposit/savings banks.

Everything worked, because the government had the capital it needed to keep everything running. Along came the idiotic notion of "keep your government hands off my social security/medicare" brought on and instilled by the gluts on the right, perceived and delivered by corporate interests tired of having to actually earn incentives and wanting to pay less while doing less (among many other fallacies pervaded by the likes of Ayn Rand and her subscribers), and the services provided by the government started to fall apart. Then came the monkeys jumping up and down, screaming how the government doesn't work.

For those who subscribe to this anti-socialist notion, here's what you'd be saying we should not have:

1) A postal system that has generally been among the world's best for the better part of two centuries

2) Paved roads in nearly every major part of the US (excepting Alaska)

3) A school system that taught the vast majority of you how to read, write, and comprehend basic math, and (hopefully) taught you at least basic history

4) An emergency services system (police, medical, and fire) that responds to you relatively immediately and effectively--whom most like to decry, up until you actually need help

5) A standardized, elite military that has protected our borders, and the borders of others, for the better part of two entire centuries

6) A public works system that built and maintains water and electricity running into the majority of your homes


So yes, keep whining about the limited taxes you actually spend, and Obama keeps at or below 30% (lowest rates in the history of this country), and how much you're tired of paying for someone else's well-being. One day, after people (hopefully) wake up and realize how far their heads have gone up their asses, all of this stupidity will make for excellent cinema.


The US has been "socialist" since the Great War, we all know that. It's the legacy of Wilson and the so-called "Progressive" Democrats who envisioned the United States as one nation, under the dollar, with liberty and justice for the highest bidder. And none of those things help your case, House.

The postal system sucks, and it was long ago rendered obsolete by the private sector- whether it's UPS shipping packages round the world, or instantaneous message delivery courtesy of the crowning achievement of those nasty old non-governmental anarchists (boo! Hiss!), the Intertubes. Unless, of course, you're one of those folks who think Al Gore "invented" the internet.

Paved roads are only provided by the state because the state claims and enforces a monopoly on them; there is no reason to suppose that the private sector (who actually build and maintain many of them, through the magic of those ever-so-socially-progressive contractual labor agreements) could not get the roads up faster, and with less total cost. Furthermore, I would like to point out that our huge network of roads led directly to a massive increase in automobiles and gas consumption. When global warming turns Aspen, Colorado into seaside property, feel free to thank your public sector for the great job those central planners did! Finally, as a hippie-dippie environmentalist and proud Segway owner, I never use roads. Why should I pay for something I never use? Should I send you my next restaurant bill?

The public school system has been deconstructed at length (and didn't you AGREE with my assessments?!). The private school systems are the only school systems that generate people with any real skills, actual thinkers and successful professionals. Private schools are vaunted havens of learning, public schools are merely indoctrination camps. I will give them this, though; their [&@%!], Establishment-centric treatment of modern history (gotta lick the hand that feeds you, huh?) is probably the single biggest factor in convincing the proles that the state is both necessary and indispensable, whatever the problem might be.

I'd like to see some proof for me decrying emergency services "up until I need help". I've never once burned down my house, and you know the rules with cops: NO SNITCHING. I, for one, am willing to take my chances. If I feel I want the peace of mind that some "insurance" brings, I should pay for it myself. If I'd rather freeball it and keep my cash, why stop me? Oh, yeah, that's right, because cops are needed to fill jails with slave laborers. *eyeroll emoticon goes here* Things gets a bit more complicated in regards to fire and disaster control, but I don't think you guys could grasp the concepts of a discussion on minarchism versus anarchism, at least not just yet.

The military is the ONLY thing which the US government does really, really well with the cash it exploits from the serfs. Too well, actually. And that whole "borders of others" thing is just a wee bit contentious, don't you think?

And finally, I don't know where YOU live, but the private sector provides my electricity. Of course, I say "private sector", but it's really a publicly-backed monopoly (once again, kudos to Progressive America), so you know what that means? [&@%!] service, no competition, and no market forces to make CL&P sort it's act out. Three inches of snow knocked my power out for a month last year. Had I the option to switch providers, that would not have happened.



Anyways, maybe you missed it, but it seems you've skipped straight over my previous questions. I doubt you'll be able to come up with a convincing answer as to how you justify coercion or supporting the wealthy for the sake of sticking it to the same-said, but you at least owe us an explanation for your use of the term "exploitation". Do you actually know what this means, in a politico-economic context? Or is it just a meaningless pejorative you picked up while listening to the empty rhetoric of neo-Marxists?



P.S. pffffft, when did YOU ever read Dear Leader? Are you actually familiar with her work, or do you just know that Jon "My Brother Is the Fattest Fat Cat On Wallstreet" Stewart likes to say she's doubleplusungood?

Re: Political Orientation

Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:17 am

I applaud you whole-heartedly, Doros. That is, quite simply, an excellent essay on what is wrong with our government.

Re: Political Orientation

Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:21 am

Clap clap. Kudos to the foreign sector, doing it right for those who can afford it.

Re: Political Orientation

Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:44 am

Eltee wrote:Saying the National Socialists were Socialists is like saying the Democratic Republic of Korea is Democratic. :)




Where do you find these people, UESP? No, actually, the Nazis were socialists. In fact, they were even more socialist than many of today's so-called "socialists".

You need an explanation ,don't you? OK, check it. "socialism" is a term that denotes a broad range of reactionary political systems, all of which are based on the premise that the state has both a right and a duty to take an active role in directing the economic (and, in most cases, social) lives of it's citizens. That's it. Centralized control, planned economy; that's the nature of the socialist system, in contrast to liberal systems, which emphasize a decentralized society and an open, organic economy.

Now, you're not the only person who has a hard time grasping the fact that the Nazis were socilists, in every sense of the word. The problem, as I see it, lies in two facts: the post-war smear campaign against the Nazis, which caused normal people to instantly recoil from everything connected with them. They're the ultimate pejorative, and since you seem to think socialism is "good", or at elast "harmless", it's impossible to reconcile the Nazi's socialist ideology with your naturally favorable pro-socialist emotional response. I hope I don't have to point out why this is stupid.

The second problem is a bit more sensible, but only slightly. This is the legacy of Marx. Most people today, when you mention "socialism", immediately think of Marx and his cronies. Marxism was, after all, the most popular interntational brand of socialism, and the only one to survive the Second World War largely intact. Surely, you think, the Nazis can't have been Marxists! And that's true: the Nazis were not Marxists. In fact, they hated Marxists, and Marxists hated them. But why?

Well, the difference between National Socialism and Marxist Socialism can be summed up by looking at their group mythology; what they believe to be the greatest seperating factor in human society. To a Marxist, class is the key; the world is viewed as a struggle between classes, successive waves of haves and have nots. To a National Socialist, heritage is the key; the world is viewed as a struggle between competing tribes, groups of people sharing a common genetic and cultural heritage. Marxists acknowledge the presence of nations, and National Socialists acknowledge the existence of classes, but neither finds the other grouping to be of much consequence. To a Marxist, a British factory worker is closer to the Russian farmer than an English aristocrat; to a National Socialist, the British factory worker and aristocrat share a bond far stronger than any with the Russian prole.

But here's the important part: both agree on the role and nature of the state. Both believe that the collective is more important than the indvidual, and that the political class can and must assume the reigns of power for the "good of all". Both are populists, and aside from couching their rhetoric in the lanue of the Industrial Revolution, both are nearly indistinguishable from primitive authoritarian-populist movements, such as the tyranical Roman imperialists. Both "are" socialist, whether you want to publicly acknowledge the label or not.

list of rights which don't exist and impose oppressive duties upon others that violate rights which do exist


Ahem.


...opposing the over-privileged wealthy" by supporting a system that gives even more privileged to an even smaller caste of even wealthier rich guys?
:| Sure.


Well, at least when push comes to shove, we know you're fine with the rich guys!

Re: Political Orientation

Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:53 am

Doros, what on earth makes you think that privatization would fix any of this? The ultimate factor in this discussion is that people are greedy [&@%!]. They'll be greedy through whichever power lets them be greedy-- whether that's through a socialist government or through socialist business policies. Or do we need to be reminded that corporations don't actually have a soft-spot for capitalism? They won't choose to forgo market-dividing or monopolizing simply because it's not the *capitalist* thing to do. They'll do whatever makes them more money, because more money means more power, and more power gives them larger erections. People will always seek to control whatever mechanisms they can, and your optimistic, dream-world view of privatization won't give them pause any more than the optimistic, dream-world view of our resident socialists give you pause.

Re: Political Orientation

Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:43 pm

The one good thing about privatization is competition. If the government is the sole provider of anything it will cost more than if there are companies competing for customers. Competition drives down prices and pushes innovation. Monopolization leads to stagnation. And if this brief revelation causes heart palpitations, then this information might spur re-creation.

Re: Political Orientation

Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:10 pm

Capitalism, funnily enough, works best with government regulation. Stops abuses, monopolization, etc. Sounds counter productive, but what isn't? It's rarely as simple as laissez faire/communism.

Re: Political Orientation

Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:12 pm

Ya know what Capitalism is?

Gettin' Fcuked.

Re: Political Orientation

Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:15 pm

Capitalism is getting [&@%!] without proper regulation, yes.

Re: Political Orientation

Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:56 pm

People do realize that Socialism has to deal with the workers owning the means of production, not the capitalists; right?

With that definition - America has never really been socialist. It was more oriented toward welfare and social services during the Cold War due to the Collectivist-Welfare State of the Communist Bloc. But when the Cold War ended, so did a majority of these dwindle. (Infact Reagen specifically reduced the Union power as a sign of the fall of the USSR and so forth)

Stops abuses, monopolization, etc. Sounds counter productive, but what isn't? It's rarely as simple as laissez faire/communism.


..Except we can never get to that idealistic form of Capitalism due the market needs to expand. If it doesn't Capitalism falls off its ass. Capitalism has been, through out its history, [&@%!] people with the excuse that it is expanding markets. (see: the entire third world)

Capitalism will not stop its abuses for it thrives on them. I doubt, sincerely, that the state of the US or France or UK will halt the monoplies whom are having a joy from Super-profits and using Africa for their own means while they gain a partial profit from this as well.

That and it allows for the expansion of political interest.

Re: Political Orientation

Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:06 am

Sloady wrote:Capitalism is getting [&@%!] without proper regulation, yes.

Spoiler:
Image

Re: Political Orientation

Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:59 am

Musicman247 wrote:The one good thing about privatization is competition. If the government is the sole provider of anything it will cost more than if there are companies competing for customers. Competition drives down prices and pushes innovation. Monopolization leads to stagnation. And if this brief revelation causes heart palpitations, then this information might spur re-creation.


No, you're talking about capitalism. Privatization doesn't necessarily lead to competition because subcontracts for government monopolies can go to private companies. Once again, private (or public) corporations don't ultimately care about following capitalism simply because it's capitalism. They will do what gets them the most money, even if it includes such socialistic policies like monopolization or market-dividing.

Re: Political Orientation

Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:15 am

With capitalism it comes down to a central control. Same thing with schools. Easier to control a large set of people when everyone learns to think the same way.

Re: Political Orientation

Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:25 am

Frost Mage wrote:With capitalism it comes down to a central control. Same thing with schools. Easier to control a large set of people when everyone learns to think the same way.

I believe you're thinking of something else. Capitalism is an economic policy, not governmental.

Re: Political Orientation

Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:30 am

Capitalism is the counterpart of communism, and that sure as hell doesn't happen without a government. :lol:

Re: Political Orientation

Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:33 am

They are both economical ideas controlled by the government.

Re: Political Orientation

Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:34 am

Something like that. :lol:

Well, let's see if we can raise a collective 'yay' for democracy!

Yay!

Re: Political Orientation

Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:35 am

Eltee wrote:Something like that. :lol:

Well, let's see if we can raise a collective 'yay' for democracy!

Yay!

do we have to acknowledge the annoying parts of democracy too?

Re: Political Orientation

Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:54 am

Musicman247 wrote:
Frost Mage wrote:With capitalism it comes down to a central control. Same thing with schools. Easier to control a large set of people when everyone learns to think the same way.

I believe you're thinking of something else. Capitalism is an economic policy, not governmental.

But it boils down to a central government that enforces an agenda on the public. Call it what you will, it's not working in America.
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