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Posted: 23 September 2013 12:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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TimB - 20 September 2013 06:28 PM

Not to you, as you are reality based.  But IMO the average delusional Tea Partier mindset, is scared poop-less of Obama turning us into a Socialist country (and they are thereby motivated to actively oppose their own self interests and actively support completely unrestrained Capitalism (which should actually be feared).

The tea party folks also mindlessly equate liberalism/progressivism with socialism.  Wonder why?  wink

Why, communism’s not so bad!  Not much to fear, really! grin

What I think that we should fear is the strong undercurrent in our political system that seeks to destroy rational restraints on capitalism and to destroy social safety net programs.

So you’re saying the idea is not to reform the safety net to make it 1) fiscally solvent and 2) more tied to self-responsibility and the market?  You do realize that our entitlement programs are steering us toward financial ruin, right?  The CBO released a report earlier this month reiterating the point.  I can provide the URL if needed.

As I think this undercurrent, if successful, will inevitably lead to violent civil unrest, as broad violent civil unrest may be seen as necessary to re-establish a sane and just government.

There are factions to the political left openly encouraging civil unrest, mostly of the nonviolent sort so far.  And at the same time acting like they’re outraged that people suggest they’re advocating a class war.  But they’re advocating class warfare, aren’t they?

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Posted: 23 September 2013 04:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Bryan, I haven’t seen your posts in a long time.

Class warfare has been going on for some time.  The victims of the war, mostly are just not aware of it.  The uber-rich are kicking the ass of the under-classes.  There is no “trickle down”, only “suck it up”.

Is it a good idea to reform the safety net system by defunding Obamacare, while offering nothing in its place?  Sure.  If you’re filthy rich and have the means to pay unlimited amounts of money on your personal healthcare, on the off chance you should need to. 

As far as governmental financial insolvency, how about a progressive tax that actually collects a high percentage of income from all who make more than a quarter of a million a year.

Or how about a flat tax, with no income tax?  Let’s say a 5% annual flat tax of everyone’s Net Worth that exceeds a quarter of a million. .

And regarding factions advocating civil unrest, I would not be surprised if there are right wing factions advocating violent civil actions.  They tend to be the ones with the guns.

Communism does not scare me. But it seems to not be economically viable over the long haul. However, I believe it would be preferable to unrestrained Capitalism.

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Posted: 23 September 2013 05:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Oh yes, and the Tea Partiers delusion lies not so much in likening liberalism/progressivism to Socialism.  Their delusion lies in their unfounded and unassailable belief that anything approaching Socialism is evil and will most definitely lead us to ruin.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 23 September 2013 05:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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TimB - 23 September 2013 05:07 AM

Oh yes, and the Tea Partiers delusion lies not so much in likening liberalism/progressivism to Socialism.  Their delusion lies in their unfounded and unassailable belief that anything approaching Socialism is evil and will most definitely lead us to ruin.

However that is just their reactionary belief based upon what they are told.  What they have been fed.
The Tea Party is the best example of people being used by feeding them fear propaganda.
Unfortunately they are a segment of the population who is rightly disgusted with the lack of democratic representation
we get from our Congress and Leaders.
However they lack the cohesion, and intelligence to focus that disgust and anger towards concrete and evidence based realities
such as income disparity, and the indestructible hold that lobbyists and corporate entities have on our politicians.
It is obvious that their grassroots frustration was hijacked and turned into a corporate, reactionary shill machine.
Patently Obvious!

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Posted: 23 September 2013 09:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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TimB - 23 September 2013 04:55 AM

Bryan, I haven’t seen your posts in a long time.

Class warfare has been going on for some time.  The victims of the war, mostly are just not aware of it.  The uber-rich are kicking the ass of the under-classes.  There is no “trickle down”, only “suck it up”.

Yes it’s class warfare but they started it?

Did they start it by being in a different class or what?  wink

Is it a good idea to reform the safety net system by defunding Obamacare, while offering nothing in its place?  Sure.  If you’re filthy rich and have the means to pay unlimited amounts of money on your personal healthcare, on the off chance you should need to.

Or if you’re young and healthy and object to having the health care of old and sick people added to your tab in addition to the retirement safety net.  You might have the justifiable idea that this new reform is making things worse, despite the budget-lowering smoke & mirrors of added taxes.  The Republicans have always had alternative ideas—pretty good ones.  Remove restrictions that prevent purchase of insurance policies across state lines, and use tort reform to help decrease defensive medicine. 

The concept here, though, is that a bad bill is worse than no bill, and the ACA is a bad bill.

As far as governmental financial insolvency, how about a progressive tax that actually collects a high percentage of income from all who make more than a quarter of a million a year.

That won’t do it.  Run the numbers.  There aren’t enough rich people to pay the bills even if you took everything year after year.  Very quickly you end up with a bunch of low-to-middle class people trying to pay the same stiff tax bill.  So the result is higher taxes on the remaining classes.

Or how about a flat tax, with no income tax?  Let’s say a 5% annual flat tax of everyone’s Net Worth that exceeds a quarter of a million.

That won’t work, either.  The thing that works dramatically to increase government revenue is increased economic growth (got some charts to show you if you like).  And one of the effects of the ACA is assuredly slower economic growth.

And regarding factions advocating civil unrest, I would not be surprised if there are right wing factions advocating violent civil actions.  They tend to be the ones with the guns.

I’m sure there are some conservatives concerned about creeping federal government power to the point they believe they should have guns to protect their freedoms.  But they’re only about as radical as the founders of the nation that way.  The American Revolution occurred because people objected to having their property taken without adequate representation in the government.  So they made a new government with many safeguards intended to limit its power and reach.  Since then many of those safeguards have been removed.

But I apologize for addressing your statement, because really in the end it was just a tu quoque from you, wasn’t it?  You’re admitting you’re advocating class warfare, right?

Communism does not scare me. But it seems to not be economically viable over the long haul. However, I believe it would be preferable to unrestrained Capitalism.

There are millions of dead people who might like to argue the point with you, but let’s just stick with communism lite, which we see in the European Union here and there.  The socialist countries there have economies even worse than ours and are swimming in red ink as a result of generous safety nets.  We’ve been eagerly copying a model that leads to fiscal ruin.  Is that smart?

Seriously, where has communism worked?  You want to replace our mixed economy with one more rigidly controlled by a central authority even though the latter has such an outstanding record of failure?

It’s great on paper, because in theory if the government makes all the right moves then a perfect economy results.  The problem is that complex top-down systems like a big government tend to get things wrong.  Lots of things.

Was China better off before it started granting some property rights and instituted market-based reforms in its economy?

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Posted: 23 September 2013 09:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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TimB - 23 September 2013 05:07 AM

Oh yes, and the Tea Partiers delusion lies not so much in likening liberalism/progressivism to Socialism.

Well, my point there was not so much that it was their biggest delusion so much as the fact that they’re basically right (yet you’re still calling it a delusion).  Real-life liberals and progressives tend to kind of like communism.  Given a choice between capitalism and communism, many would willingly choose the latter.

Their delusion lies in their unfounded and unassailable belief that anything approaching Socialism is evil and will most definitely lead us to ruin.

I hope you’ll note that I’ve explained its foundation.  Socialism erodes freedom, challenges a deeply-held cultural conviction about personal and community responsibility, and the social programs emblematic of socialist policy lead to unsustainable deficits.

The socialist, of course, has faith that there will always be enough rich people around to pay the bills.  wink

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Posted: 23 September 2013 10:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Bryan - 23 September 2013 09:53 AM
TimB - 23 September 2013 05:07 AM

Oh yes, and the Tea Partiers delusion lies not so much in likening liberalism/progressivism to Socialism.

Well, my point there was not so much that it was their biggest delusion so much as the fact that they’re basically right (yet you’re still calling it a delusion).  Real-life liberals and progressives tend to kind of like communism.  Given a choice between capitalism and communism, many would willingly choose the latter.

Their delusion lies in their unfounded and unassailable belief that anything approaching Socialism is evil and will most definitely lead us to ruin.

I hope you’ll note that I’ve explained its foundation.  Socialism erodes freedom, challenges a deeply-held cultural conviction about personal and community responsibility, and the social programs emblematic of socialist policy lead to unsustainable deficits.

The socialist, of course, has faith that there will always be enough rich people around to pay the bills.  wink


And those with faith in untrammelled capitalism guarantee that there always will be.

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Posted: 23 September 2013 10:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Lois - 23 September 2013 10:53 AM

And those with faith in untrammelled capitalism guarantee that there always will be.

Will faith in capitalism produce wealth in a communist society where capitalism is squelched?

I think perhaps I’m not getting your point.  I could use a bit of explanation.

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Posted: 23 September 2013 01:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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In another thread, I noted that TimB had expressed sympathy for communism while also admitting the central role of the U.S. in the world economy.

VYAZMA suggested I had claimed a contradiction.

Who said it was contradictory?

You did.

But I said no such thing.

Is there a potential inconsistency in recognizing America as the economic engine of progress while also advocating its replacement with communism?  Of course there is.  And it’s something that TimB should think about and explain (if only to himself).  Likewise for VYAZMA. 

It’s clearly not claiming a contradiction.  One who says otherwise is playing with words.

You’re the one trolling around.

Finally we reach the core of your argument, VYAZMA.  wink

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Posted: 23 September 2013 02:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Bryan:

Socialism erodes freedom, challenges a deeply-held cultural conviction about personal and community responsibility, and the social programs emblematic of socialist policy lead to unsustainable deficits.

The socialist, of course, has faith that there will always be enough rich people around to pay the bills. 

Back to the old propaganda tricks are we.  Socialism is not the same as Communism.  Communism is the belief that the government should own all means of production, you are correct in saying this doesn’t work.  Socialism, on the other hand does not necessitate the ownership of the means of production by the government: what it does promote is the well-being of all members of society through the use of the government to ensure that all members of the society have adequate social protections such as good health care; adequate food and housing; decent educational opportunity, no matter how much money the parents have; even Xtians believe you are not responsible for your father’s sins (with the exception of Adam’s of course smile  ) etc.

Yes financing these programs costs money, but so does financing the military to protect and fight for the large corporations interests abroad, not to mention the military industrial complex’s interests here in the U.S.  Where do you think the money being put benefits the future generations the most?  As far as taxes, I strongly believe that wage earners should not be taxed at a higher rate than those whose incomes are based on capital gains.  If you go back to the original post in this thread you can see the result of the policies you are promoting.

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Posted: 23 September 2013 04:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Bryan - 23 September 2013 01:52 PM

But I said no such thing.

Is there a potential inconsistency in recognizing America as the economic engine of progress while also advocating its replacement with communism?  Of course there is.  And it’s something that TimB should think about and explain (if only to himself).  Likewise for VYAZMA. 

Inconsistency..Contradiction….what’s the difference?
Thanks for clarifying that.
Why did you take the time to pick this goofy fight?
Splitting hairs over near synonyms?
Economic Engine of Progress?  Tentacles of capitalism…
Shouldn’t you wait for Tim to be present before you keep changing his words around and misrepresenting his statements?
And in answer to your question here.  No I still don’t see any inconsistency! 
Are you referring to the Economic Engine of Progress of the 40s 50s and 60s?  Are you still stuck in the golden years Bryan?

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Posted: 23 September 2013 05:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Wow, Brian, same old cherry picking and mis-stating details in your perseverant tactics of debate.  And same old, tired, erroneous trickle down economics philosophy.

You make it sound like I want Stalin come back to life and turn America into the early version of Soviet Communism.  What I said was that I would prefer Communism to unrestrained Capitalism. 

The fact is that my most preferred form of government would be a Capitalistic Democratic Republic that has just and rational restraints on capitalism, such that injustice and inequalities and mass suffering (that occurs from unrestrained Capitalism) can be minimized.

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Posted: 23 September 2013 10:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Bryan - 23 September 2013 10:56 AM
Lois - 23 September 2013 10:53 AM

And those with faith in untrammelled capitalism guarantee that there always will be.

Will faith in capitalism produce wealth in a communist society where capitalism is squelched?

I think perhaps I’m not getting your point.  I could use a bit of explanation.

Those who “have faith” in untrammelled capitalism and are able exploit it in a capitalistic economy will always be able to garner riches. So they will have enough riches to spread the wealth to the less fortunate or talented as long as laws are in place to require it. If laws are not in place forcing sharing of the wealth a very unbalanced society results because the wealthy are less likely to share their riches with the exploited and downtrodden on their own. They will share only enough to keep the lower classes from rising up against them. In a communist society, or even a socialist one, it is much more difficult (though, as we’ve seen not impossible) for some people, though many fewer than under capitalism, to garner great wealth, usually through corruption of the system.  But in a communist or socialist system most of the people will receive a portion of the wealth the system creates because it is in the hands of the government.  This is the way a comministic or socialist system is supposed to work, though the corruption under communist dictatorships was so great that the system failed. It works much better in countries with enough capitalism to drive the economy and enough socialism to prevent the masses from falling into poverty.  The Scandinavian countries are good examples of this. The United States is a good example of too much capitalism and too little socialism, which creates an unbalanced system with a lot of wealth at the top and much poverty and poor infrastructure for the poor and middle classes.  It also tends to shrink the middle class so that most of the population struggles to gain a toehold while the wealth stays at the top—and the wealthy work mightily to keep it that way.  Of course this is a bare outline of how capitalism and socialism works and there is more to it than this but I hope this gives an idea of what I was talking about when I said that those with faith in untrammelled capitalism guarantee that there always will be enough rich people around who have enough money pay the bills, though unless forced through socialistic laws, they will never pay enough of them or even their fair share.

Lois

[ Edited: 23 September 2013 10:15 PM by Lois ]
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Posted: 23 September 2013 11:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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garythehuman - 23 September 2013 02:12 PM

Back to the old propaganda tricks are we.  Socialism is not the same as Communism.

Economically there’s little difference (both are systems of ownership of the means of production featuring central control), and if you visit the context in which I was replying the subject was specifically socialism.

Communism is the belief that the government should own all means of production, you are correct in saying this doesn’t work.  Socialism, on the other hand does not necessitate the ownership of the means of production by the government: what it does promote is the well-being of all members of society through the use of the government to ensure that all members of the society have adequate social protections such as good health care; adequate food and housing; decent educational opportunity, no matter how much money the parents have; even Xtians believe you are not responsible for your father’s sins (with the exception of Adam’s of course smile  ) etc.

http://oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/socialism

Yes financing these programs costs money, but so does financing the military to protect and fight for the large corporations interests abroad, not to mention the military industrial complex’s interests here in the U.S.  Where do you think the money being put benefits the future generations the most?

It varies, but in particular the U.S. use of its military benefits those who do not pay U.S. taxes, such Muslims in Kosovo.  It also benefits those in other countries through mutual defense pacts.  Those other nations have long used their alliance with the U.S. to justify directing more money into social programs.

As far as taxes, I strongly believe that wage earners should not be taxed at a higher rate than those whose incomes are based on capital gains.  If you go back to the original post in this thread you can see the result of the policies you are promoting.

The results of policies I advocate?  You’re pointing at 2009-2012, which features a big COLA for government benefits, a gargantuan Keynesian stimulus program (albeit not as big as P. Krugman wanted!), and a paralyzing transformation of the health care system toward making it yet another instrument for federally-directed wealth redistribution.  We can throw in the Fed’s quantitative easing program, which devalues the currency in its effort to loosen bankers’ fearful grip on capital.  I’d sincerely like to know what economic policies the Obama administration has instituted that I favor.

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Posted: 23 September 2013 11:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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VYAZMA - 23 September 2013 04:15 PM
Bryan - 23 September 2013 01:52 PM

But I said no such thing.

Is there a potential inconsistency in recognizing America as the economic engine of progress while also advocating its replacement with communism?  Of course there is.  And it’s something that TimB should think about and explain (if only to himself).  Likewise for VYAZMA. 

Inconsistency..Contradiction….what’s the difference?

One is paired with the word “potential.”

Thanks for clarifying that.

No problem.  Thanks for the unserious reply.

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