Recent posts by petesahooligan on Kongregate

Flag Post

Topic: Serious Discussion / An Ideal Democracy

Democracy is defined as a system of government in which power is vested in the people, who rule either directly or through freely elected representatives.

In what ways is the United States (or your home country) a democracy and in what ways is it not?

 
Flag Post

Topic: Serious Discussion / GOP and DNC

If I might be so bold as to paraphrase Tulrog’s viewpoint, the distance between the wealthiest % and the poorest % can be illustrated as a curve:

The ends are difficult to correct for and the “most” people live between +10% and +90%. That’s not to say that everyone in this middle section can be considered Middle Class, but rather that any tax policy is going to impact these people the most… because the most people exist in this space.

It would be ridiculous to propose policy that was concerned with redistributing the top 5% of the wealth if it didn’t have significant benefits to that big chunk of people in the middle. The idea that the wealthiest 1% has a massive concentration of wealth is only offensive BECAUSE so many people in the middle of the span are struggling to make ends meet.

If the wealth concentration yielded more jobs — as the promise goes — then it wouldn’t be a big deal. We’d simply ratify the oligarchy and get on with enjoying our flat-screen TVs. Instead we’ve collectively bought into a myth that more wealth produces “trickle down” benefits to the less wealthy. It’s clearly not true… one glance at the chart above reveals that.

And it IS true that the abundance of individual wealth, or the lack of it, are the direct result of personal decisions. Those decisions, however, are made according to opportunity and circumstance… and those opportunities and circumstances are partially the result of “unrelated” policies. Mandatory minimum sentencing, for example, has decimated many inner-city communities and severed some of the best opportunities that those communities had to escape the cycle of poverty.

We need to consider economic improvement as a holistic system.

It can be really frustrating to bicker about such complex issues when there’s an over-reliance on single concepts. The idea that people could simply bootstrap their way out of poverty is as naive as saying that people CAN’T bootstrap their way out of poverty. Neither claim is entirely true, and neither claim is entirely false.

 
Flag Post

Topic: Serious Discussion / GOP and DNC

Bobneson said: I’m okay with taxes, but not overly high taxes.

Devil’s in the details.

Would you mind paying a reasonably low amount of tax only to have someone utterly waste it on something you don’t agree with? Would you mind paying a higher tax if it literally saved lives?

The amount that we pay is not as important as the expenditure. That’s what I’m saying.

Tulrog said:And once again. I’m not trying to say people should do this or that. But numbers like this make me doubt the image of the helpless poor non rich man is a completely correct one. Part of the wealth gap problem is that people chose to set different priorities.

I agree entirely with this.

I also think it’s wise not to rely on stereotypes. I make about 106% of my state’s median household income. I’m not rich by my community’s standards but I can go see movies and stuff. I’m not suffering. I know people that make a lot more money than I do… some of them work hard, some of them don’t. I don’t watch five hours of TV — I don’t have — but I’m not wealthy as a result, and there are certainly people that watch 5 hours a day that are wealthy.

There are people that are poorer than me that bust their asses every single day hustling on some project… but they have expenses… one guy has medical issues, another guy likes expensive drugs and crashing cars.

Choices are based on circumstances, and circumstances are the result of choices.

There’s no simple formula out of poverty.

 
Flag Post

Topic: Serious Discussion / GOP and DNC

For what it’s worth, the way I understand economic drivers is in alignment with what’s being said here.

The principle phrase that I rely on is “commercial success.” Commercial success means essentially the same thing for individuals as it does for businesses of all sizes, and even nonprofit and governmental agencies.

In order for an entity (be it a person, small business, or corporation… or any other agency) to be commercially successful, they must do the following in sum or part.

1. Measure (and adjust) performance against specific success metrics.
2. Able to “brand” its product or service so that its value may be conveyed.
3. Capacity to meet changing scope and scale, (i.e., capable of growth and shrinkage).
4. Their product or service meets a need (i.e., the cost-benefit is favorable).

That’s it.

In many ways our economic woes are due to relying on concepts that simply don’t meet some or all of those four criteria for commercial success. For example, when investment deregulation failed and we suffered the Savings & Loan scandal in the 1980s, it was a clear signal that in this context deregulation was a shitty idea. The concept of deregulation failed to meet those metrics… it was not scaleable and failed against specific internal metrics (probably the one that went something like, “if our speculative investment strategies don’t work out, can we scale down?” The answer was obviously no).

And it should be noted that there are often new and stronger revenue streams as a result of government expenditures on policy (things like interest rates), oversight (those responsible and program funding), and enforcement (their tools for making change).

For example, the medical and pharmaceutical industries in the US have always been a massive economic driver. With Obamacare we’re going to see a LOT more drugs being prescribed and consumed, leading to more medical and pharma profits, which then turn into domestic and global economic activity (and revenue for the IRS).

Inexpensive oil nerfs gas tax revenue and can disrupt international trade, but it positively impacts manufacturing jobs. Cheap oil means cheap energy, and that means that factories can afford to remain in the country. It also means consumers have more discretionary income. People buy bigger cars. They buy houses further from work, leading to construction jobs. Roads get built and repaired. Jobs jobs jobs.

And American corporations continue to be strong, safe bets for international investors. Mo’ money!

These little strings are woven all through our economy.

It’s dangerous, therefore, to use strong “absolutes” when talking about tax revenue and economy. (It’s kind of like saying that personal wealth corrupts… it may be true in some ways, and it’s probably untrue in just as many.)

 
Flag Post

Topic: Serious Discussion / GOP and DNC

Tulrog said:I have a problem with people taking that statistic and putting all the blame on “the rich”. And then thinking taking away money from them and giving it to “the poor” will solve anything.

You have to admit that the concept has popular appeal. It’s part of our “justice narrative.” People often equate someone’s wealth as evidence of their lack of moral fiber, and that they may not appreciate the human experience to the same degree that poor people do. That’s in our American psyche, for better or worse. The “wise beggar” is a much more popular character in western storytelling than the “philosophical millionaire.” See also Robin Hood and any number of other underdog stories. A good way to make someone a villain is to make them extremely wealthy.

I think our myths around wealth play a large part in how we define economic fairness.

No argument here. But why should they act against their interests if they have the option not to? It’s clearly something that needs to be addressed.

American businesses are required to be competitive if they hope to succeed, and they find those competitive advantages wherever they can. It is not the corporation’s moral duty to advance wealth equity (a social issue) unless they produce social-equity widgets or something like that. They are beholden to their goal of maximizing shareholder value… and they should be expected to behave responsibly and consistently.

That is to say, I totally agree. Corporations are corporations. They are not the arbiter of justice and social “fairness.”

But I doubt the situation is black and white with all the blame on the companies and rich people.

Of course. For example, geography plays a major role in an individual’s economic mobility and it’s seldom discussed among political pundits. For people restricted to impoverished areas, no degree of corporate tax reform is going to make a lick of difference until those tax revenues are funneled into economic recovery plans for that area.

There are lots of factors that influence wealth distribution that are beyond the reach of taxes.

Kasic said: GDP will go up when the economy is healthy, and the economy is most healthy when there’s a moderate curve from poor to wealthy and when the middle class is strong.

Amen.

When we talk about the impact on individual wealth and tax revenue, it should probably stay focused on the goal of benefiting the middle class rather than on how it would impact the poor.

You’re right about social security not being as expensive in the 1950s. Absolutely true. The population was 177-million in 1952 — now it’s 319-million — and the life-expectancy was about 10 years less than it is today.

 
Flag Post

Topic: Serious Discussion / GOP and DNC

Very reasonable and thoughtful response, Kasic (as usual).

Corporate and personal taxes are arranged differently and when we consider individual taxes, that shouldn’t necessarily reflect the same considerations in corporate taxes.

Since we’re all talking about taxes, here’s some fidelity to add to the mix. It may help get some of these disagreements pointed at specific measures.

Taxes are drawn by all levels of government: Federal, State, County, and Municipal.

Additional revenues are drawn using a variety of methods. Some of these equate to taxes (bonds, levies) and some do not (interest on loans, dividends on investments). Taxes from individuals and corporations account for about 18% of national economy.

Here’s a valuable graphic produced by CNN Money last year:

The 1950s were the beginning of the US’ economic leadership in the contemporary world. It’s a good place to track our economic trajectory.

Note that revenue from social security and retirement grew massively while corporate and excise taxes, (excise tax is a special tax on a specific type of goods, like a special tax on gas or cigarette sales), dropped significantly.

Corporate taxes are lower in large part because they are operating overseas. Companies like Microsoft, for example, have huge operations in Ireland because it’s much cheaper to do business there. This is the “truth nugget” that many economists and pundits point to when arguing for reduced corporate taxes here in the US.

Relative to other major national economies, Americans and American businesses pay lower taxes. Raising taxes on individuals (particularly wealthy individuals) and larger corporations may make the US less competitive globally but our competitiveness can be reclaimed in lots of other ways. A person’s or corporation’s competitiveness is not always necessarily due to environmental factors like tax rates. When a company fails it’s not due to being “taxed to death.” Corporations pay lower taxes NOW and that change has played a significant role in shrinking the middle class over the last 50 years.

 
Flag Post

Topic: Serious Discussion / Even Egypt knows Democrats and Obama are total jokes.

I think our gas in Los Angeles is around $2.40 right now. I don’t pay any attention to it; I just pay whatever. It’s higher than national because California has stricter environmental fuel regulations and is on a closed system. (Gas distribution in California is separate from the rest of the US.) I’d pay $4.00 a gallon if it meant cleaner air. This is a filthy city.

 
Flag Post

Topic: Serious Discussion / GOP and DNC

Sanders doesn’t mention that (because he’s wildly disingenuous) and, somehow, I think the allure of socialized medicine will lose a lot of its appeal when care is limited.

The reason health care is even an issue, Issendorf, is because up until just recently 50-million people in the United States had no health coverage whatsoever.

For one of the wealthiest countries on the planet, this is unconscionable.

But — like I said before — it’s not really the tax rate that’s the issue (and certainly not whether it’s progressive or flat) but rather the expenditure. We probably tax everyone just fine right now… but closing loopholes and spending our tax revenues in better ways is probably more significant than how much we bring in.

 
Flag Post

Topic: Serious Discussion / GOP and DNC

Define what you mean by progressive.

It would refer to a tiered tax system where wealthier tiers are taxed at a higher percentage than lower tiers. In other words, what we have now.

Of course, the devil’s in the details.

 
Flag Post

Topic: Serious Discussion / GOP and DNC

I’m a terrible person to talk about such things, Karma, because I’ve always been a socialist at heart. My mom literally quit giving me toys as a kid because I’d just give them away. Today I work for a nonprofit and volunteer about 6 hours a week to a number of non-work organizations. I don’t make a lot of money, yet last year I donated over $1,000 to my employer (and about half that to other spunky nonprofits). I’ve got a fucked up barometer of personal charity. But am I an outlier? I don’t know.

That said, I believe that wealth comes with an implicit expectation of charity. In my realm I encounter a fair number of entertainment and sports celebrities, and people that are just super fucking rich, and — to the person — all consider themselves charitable individuals. Every single one of them. It’s uncanny, right?

I believe that it’s human nature for each of us to consider ourselves as generous as we are capable of being.

Because wealth is relative, it’s a poor measure of conservation. I spend 50¢ on a cup-of-noodles for dinner, I’m being fiscally conservative… but does that mean that if I spend $1.00 on a box of mac-n-cheese I’m being wasteful? I don’t think so. It is relative to my budget, and the extravagance of my budget is relative to the budgets of those in my community, and my community’s budget is relative to neighboring communities, and so on.

That’s why wealth in Bangladesh doesn’t equate easily to wealth in Hollywood.

Terms that we use to describe wasteful spending are loaded with traps. One might consider the expense of the F35 Lightning wasteful at $122-million but relative to what? That cost can only be fairly equated to other aircraft that can provide the same function. The easy play is to ask why school teachers make so little when we can “afford” to spend so much on a single plane… but that’s kind of lazy. School teachers don’t kill ISIS. (Actually they might do a better job of stopping ISIS if we put great teachers in with the right kids.)

Potholes is the number one complaint that municipalities get from their constituents… but fixing potholes is wasteful spending to the pedestrian. Like you pointed out, Karma, it’s a matter of perspective and priorities.

 
Flag Post

Topic: Serious Discussion / GOP and DNC

@Karma, with all due respect, I believe that EVERYONE is essentially a fiscal conservative. No sane person wants to waste their money or allow their money to be wasted by someone else.

It boils down to the fact that we disagree on what constitutes waste. Apparently Bobneson thinks that money for marijuana is a waste but I know quite a few people that would disagree and think that pot is a fine thing to spend one’s money on. So, is money for marijuana a waste? According to whom?

I believe that probably everybody considers themselves smart with their money… both as individuals and as observers of governmental spending… yet people go broke all of the time, (regardless of political labels).

This would be a fun exercise: Define specific metrics that would define a “fiscal conservative.” (E.g., never declared bankruptcy, debt less than 10% of income, cash reserves at 100% of annual expenses, etc.).

It’s impossible to create a tax cut that won’t overwhelmingly favor the wealthy. The bottom 50% pay less than 5% of the nation’s income taxes (actual number is close to 3% I believe) whereas the 1% pay about 40% of our income taxes. The poor by and large don’t really pay any taxes, and you can’t cut taxes that aren’t paid which is why the memes of “The Republicans’ tax cut favors the wealthy!” are so stupid.

That’s an excellent point. I agree.

Tax reform does not necessarily result in lower, flatter taxes… but it certainly results in the elimination of tax loopholes that allow the wealthiest individuals and largest corporations the ability to avoid paying their fair share.

If elected, Sanders’ tax plan is probably going to be implemented along the same odds as Trump’s Mexican Wall or deporting certain religious groups.

 
Flag Post

Topic: Serious Discussion / GOP and DNC

I agree, Issendorf, that simpler tax schema are preferable to complex ones but not because it’s somehow more fair but rather because then people can just understand it.

The problem is that top-enders don’t pay their “flat” share due to tax exemptions and the ability to enjoy the benefits of untaxed income. The bottom-enders don’t get that stuff. So when the right-wing proposes a flat tax, we know that this disproportionately burdens the poor.

Those tax-deductions that benefit the wealthy (at the expense of the poor) should be eliminated REGARDLESS of the overall tax plan being considered… yet the GOP entire candidate pool is advocating for greater tax breaks for the wealthy. What the hell?!

Also: “Lowering taxes” and “flattening taxes” are not the same thing and shouldn’t be equated. Neither movement is necessarily good, as you know. If you lower taxes to oblivion, the nation collapses… so one cannot casually claim that lowering taxes is better… and one cannot raise taxes until people revolt. It’s tax expenditures that make the difference. If we waste our tax dollars on wasteful programs, it doesn’t matter HOW low our taxes are.

@ Bobneson, I really don’t have much of an answer for you. If you cannot see that government services are essential, or that the government earns revenue from sources other than taxes, the chasm between how we understand the functions of government is simply too large to cross. I don’t have the patience to make an effort. Your simplistic view of tax (money in) and operations (money out) is fine for conversation, but please don’t launch a criticism of my political philosophy based on such rudimentary claims.

 
Flag Post

Topic: Serious Discussion / Any good Book suggestions?

Originally posted by Jantonaitis:
DON’T READ THEM. They’re awful.

Dream-crusher.

 
Flag Post

Topic: Serious Discussion / GOP and DNC

Well, taxes are good. We need taxes to function as a nation. Without taxes we gut our public services, and those are essential. C’mon, Issendorf. You’re not 4 years old. You know this stuff.

To blithely imply that lower taxes are “better” than higher taxes is like saying that eating oranges is better than driving at night. Broad statements like that don’t make sense. Maybe we can have your flatter, lower taxes by disbanding the military, right?

Anyway… it hardly matters about Sanders’ tax plan because it’s not going to happen any sooner than an abolition of the capital gains tax pitched by all of the GOP candidates.

What I’d like to ask you, Issendorf, is what YOU think the GOP and DNC are selling the American voter when they pitch these ideas?

For your consideration, I’d say that the DNC is pitching an idea that the government has been helping the rich get richer for far too long… and Sanders’ platform reflects that more than Clinton’s. And I’d say that the GOP is pitching an idea that the less money the government takes, the more we all get to keep… and as much as I think that’s a ridiculously foolish notion, it speaks to a voter that is equally frustrated with Federal Government not working for the voter.

 
Flag Post

Topic: Serious Discussion / Even Egypt knows Democrats and Obama are total jokes.

Well, do you think Obama’s critics would be so dismissive if unemployment was higher, gas was up, and people didn’t have healthcare?

Live by the sword, die by the sword.

 
Flag Post

Topic: Serious Discussion / Any good Book suggestions?

Man, you guys read some smart books… too smart for me… though I am happy to see Sturgeon on your list, Jantonaitis. (I’m surprised Pynchon hasn’t made an appearance yet that I saw.)

 
Flag Post

Topic: Serious Discussion / GOP and DNC

Glad to see you, Issendorf. I always appreciate your unique perspective. The topic here is the similarities and differences between the GOP and DNC platforms. This is less a place to discuss the specific details of those individual issues.

But since you brought it up…

It should be noted that the independent organization responsible for that one-sheet advocates for tax reform and casually equate lower taxes with economic growth… yet the one-sheets are only supplied for the Democratic candidates and both are critical. When GOP data is missing, there’s no mention. When DNC data is missing, it says “no data provided.” It’s subtle bias.

Whatever…

Look at the GOP’s plans. Most include an elimination of (or dramatic cut to) capital gains tax, investment income tax (dividends), estate tax. Funny how there’s no mention of how much THAT will cost the nation.

Wait, let’s back up a second. What is your point?

 
Flag Post

Topic: Serious Discussion / GOP and DNC

The point, Bobneson, was that even at the relatively lowly government job of librarian there are incentives to working both in the government and outside it.

When you multiply the benefit by millions of dollars in profit due to a tax loophole or advantageous policy, you can see how important it becomes for corporations to have friends in the White House… and for people in the White House to have friends on the outside.

 
Flag Post

Topic: Serious Discussion / GOP and DNC

It’s certainly easy to follow the motives through to the unfortunately outcome. The decision to work in government or the private sector boils all the way down to… say, librarians. It’s actually a pretty good example because librarian jobs typically require a Masters degree. (I know… seems odd but it’s true.)

If I am fresh out of school with my Masters of Library Science degree, I can work for the government as a librarian for (among other things) a public or technical library (including military and law libraries), become an archivist designing storage for and maintaining historical records, or assist in records retrieval. Librarians, of course, are most often using designing systems for digital information these days. If I work in public service (i.e., government or a charitable nonprofit organization), I can have my remaining student loan debt waived after you’ve made 120 payments. That’s like getting a $30,000 bonus after 7 years. That’s a good incentive!

The problem is that government work doesn’t pay very well… at least not compared to the private sector. The government job for a librarian might pay $50–65K a year. That’s certainly enough for a small family to live on comfortably if you’re frugal. In the private sector you might find a job as an archivist or database expert for $75K a year to start. Of course, you’re subject to the risks inherent with private sector work, like unexpectedly getting laid off. And you don’t get your student loans paid off, and your health insurance package kinda sucks, and you have little protection or room to grow if you don’t get along with your boss, and so on. If you’re looking for big paychecks now, that’s the direction you might go. It’s riskier but more lucrative.

The smart play is to do both and bounce from one to the other. Gather your government benefits package while you’re young then go for the lucrative private-sector job when you’re older and have earned some professional respect.

That’s just for a librarian. Imagine the benefits when you are in corporate tax law and can bounce back and forth from government — advising policy — to private-sector — providing your clients rewards for your experience navigating the policies that you just designed.

The chief accusation leveled at the Republican Party by liberals is that they’re just a bunch of self-serving oligarchs that have hood-winked imbecile voters into buying into their vulgar platitudes like “let’s make America great again!” Conservatives, meanwhile, seem fond of depicting the Democratic Party as a bunch of whiny nincompoops looking to get as much free stuff as possible. (To that I say, “it’s what our taxes are for.”)

 
Flag Post

Topic: Serious Discussion / GOP and DNC

If we elected en masse an entire government that was not beholden to the interests of large corporations and industries, I wonder what our country would look like after 10 years. I suspect most of those companies would simply move to a country better suited for doing business. But what country would that be?

According to Forbes that might be one of the countries on this list. Interesting too is to see what social policies these “best countries to do business in” have in common. It straight-up rejects the notion that these social services would somehow ruin the American economy (and American businesses). The nations were rated according to the following characteristics:

• Property rights
• Innovation
• Taxes
• Technology
• Corruption
• Freedom (personal, trade and monetary)
• Red tape
• Investor protection
• Stock market performance
(methodology)

1. Denmark
Although it has the highest individual tax burdens, it has the one of the best regulatory climates in the world… low corruption, high transparency. (America’s regulatory climate, by comparison, is clear as mud and corruption is high.) Its wealth gap is one of the narrowest in the world. The nation offers all of its citizens health care, education, job training, and retirement. In Denmark, the Prime Minister has been seen shoveling the snow off her own sidewalk (seriously). This is the best place in the world to do business.

2. New Zealand
A great country for entrepreneurial businesses. They are the second-best country to do business in and they have strong social welfare programs, though they are currently struggling with reforms to that system that are leaving more families in a cycle of poverty… but certainly not to the scale that we see in the US. Although New Zealanders take home less money than Americans, they live longer, have more time off with their families, are less likely to be incarcerated (by a factor of 3-to-1!) or murdered (also by a factor of 3-to-1!), more likely to be employed (+12%), and due to their socialized medicine program they spend (gov’t and individual expenses combined) 63% less on health care than we do in the US. (Source)

3. United States
Just kidding.

3. Norway
4. Ireland
5. Sweden
6. Finland
7. Canada
8. Singapore
9. Netherlands
10. United Kingdom
11. Hong Kong
12. Switzerland
13. Iceland
14. Australia
15. Belgium
16. Portugal
17. Lithuania
18. Germany
19. Estonia
20. Slovenia
21. Taiwan
22. United States

I think that this clearly rejects the idea that the path to better business lies in deregulation and “smaller government.”

The basic gist here is that it appears that the best countries in the world for business have stronger alignment with principles and practices promoted by the Democratic Party. It is ironic to me that the GOP would be the party that has the reputation for being “pro-business.”

 
Flag Post

Topic: Serious Discussion / GOP and DNC

I would like to clarify that I didn’t pull those issues out of thin air. Rather, they are the lists provided by the party’s respective website.

Democratic Platform

Republican Platform

@Kasic I believe that “open government” belongs in the Democratic column because they are the only party elevating voter rights. The Republicans have a reputation (earned or unearned) of restricting voter turnout.

Kasic wrote: … the GOP wants people to live according to their morals while keeping government almost completely out of business. The differences are almost entirely social, not economic.

I don’t feel like this is an accurate depiction of the GOP tone. There are lots of instances where the conservative position denies individuals rights afforded to those that meet “Christian values.” These cases, such as the “defense” of marriage, do not liberate Christian conservatives in any way… in fact, allowing gay marriage doesn’t impact traditional marriage in any way whatsoever. This is the type of thing that comes to mind when I hear people claim that the GOP would like to see the government butt out of peoples’ business.

I agree with Vika that the GOP’s messaging strategy is distinctly anti-intellectual. When you look at the folksy, populist approach of people like Trump and Palin, you don’t hear any specific proposals at all. There’s nothing there but grandiose descriptions of national pride that are disconnected from any specific goal or program. (For example, a wall between the US and Mexico… and idea that does not make America any greater and is completely stupid in its impracticality… to whom is this wall a good idea?)

 
Flag Post

Topic: Serious Discussion / GOP and DNC

I’ve been reflecting on the anti-intellectualism of the Tea Party’s rhetoric throughout the US’ presidential election. There seems to be an acceptance — particularly among conservatives — to rely on irrational evidence to reinforce a political philosophy that is utterly void of practical value. For example, Republicans widely hold the position that we should implicitly seek to lower taxes but the outcome of this goal is never substantiated. It just “sounds” good.

No offense to Bobneson or Issendorf or any of our other resident conservatives as individuals. This isn’t an accusation leveled at the people but rather at the tone of the GOP platform that can be seen in the aggregate. Compare for a moment the differences between the two party’s issues (as listed on the party websites):

Democratic Issues
Civil Rights
Education
Energy Independence
Environment
Health Care
Immigration Reform
Jobs and the Economy
National Security
Open Government
Retirement Security
Science and Technology
Voting Rights

Republican Issues
Job Creation
Entrepreneurship
Tax Relief
Global Economic Competition
Tax Reform
Balanced Budget
Inflation
Homeownership

And here are the topics that are not specifically included on the other party’s list.

Unique Democratic Issues
Civil Rights
Education
Energy Independence
Environment
Health Care
Immigration Reform
National Security
Open Government
Retirement Security
Science and Technology
Voting Rights

Unique Republican Issues
Job Creation
Entrepreneurship
Tax Relief
Global Economic Competition
Tax Reform
Balanced Budget
Inflation
Homeownership

One thing that immediately stands out is that most of the Democratic issues are humanitarian while most of the Republican issues are economic. Republicans often level a charge against Democrats that government should stay out of peoples’ lives, and in some cases this is certainly true, but the services that the government provides American citizens are pervasive… communication, transportation, national security, and other essential services are largely provided by our government.

The idea that if we move government services to the private sector, we will be creating jobs an driving economic prosperity. Democrats largely view this as a way of procuring profits from services that should essentially be free to the consumer. (Imagine, for example, if ALL roads were toll roads.)

All reasonable people can agree that the way the nation currently works, and will continue to work, is through a careful balance of the two economic philosophies. We maintain a tense equilibrium in compromise.

What we argue about politically is to what degree we should compromise our ideals to achieve some sort of greater good. The anti-intellectual tone of the GOP (and specifically the Tea Party) seems riddled with language that ridicules compromise and reason.

 
Flag Post

Topic: Serious Discussion / The first plasma: the Wendelstein 7-X fusion device is now in operation

Originally posted by vikaTae:

How’s about the wheel? That technological innovation made life quite a bit easier, but I can’t think of any way it negatively impacted on the societies we had at the time.

If I had to come up with negatives to the wheel…

The first wheels were believed to be potters’ wheels, used in pottery. It may have been disruptive to hunter-gatherer commerce, and the resultant violence that it can create. (Anything new of value can disrupt the power balance of a culture.) It was the axle that really allowed the wheel to become a means of transporting large loads. While this certainly would open up markets, it might have also increased the need for and workloads of slaves.

 
Flag Post

Topic: Serious Discussion / Bernie Sanders fatal flaw.

It’s revealing to me that the last Republican in office to exemplify GOP principles was before 1990… over 26 years ago.

BombCog said: He’s cultivating a base that’s been rightly ignored by responsible politicians.

This sentence contains everything you need to know about Trump’s campaign strategy.

 
Flag Post

Topic: Serious Discussion / Bernie Sanders fatal flaw.

He may.