I.e, you want to be pulled out of work about once a week every time one of these bills is up for vote and you actually expect the 200million American voters to understand all of them (and that list is only the ones Congress passed, not all of them that were put on the floor) enough to make reasonable decisions about them, not to mention the same sort of decisions being made on your individual state, county, city, and municipal level?
The United States: it’s big.
How can you be a traitor to capitalism when you continue to benefit from it? It’s not as though Buffett burned all his money and is now living in a trailer park in Montana. lol
“Putting issues more directly in the hands of the people might in theory make things better but the reality of the American people is that quite likely, it could make things worse. lol”
^ HEY. Not everyone lives in a trailer park.
We lives in houses, like normal people.
^lol – sorry Ben! I forget you’re in Montana.
I was thinking of Tom Shadyac, who threw it all away and moved into a trailer in Malibu. But somehow Malibu still signifies fancy wealth, so I went with Montana.
If it’s any consolation, I grew up in a trailer park. :)
Actually we have some very wealthy people who live here.
Peter Fonda’s permanent residence is here and David Letterman owns a ranch.
^Wasn’t it at Letterman’s ranch that his son was almost kidnapped?
I have no idea. I know Jeff Bridges has a family cabin here as well.
I like Jeff Bridges. He seems like a nice guy.
buffet is a traitor to capitalism because he opposed tax cuts. buffet should know better than anyone how evil taxes are. i mean, the guy donated what, $50 billion to charities of his choice? can you imagine if he hadn’t had so much money stolen by the american government over his lifetime? maybe he would’ve had $100 billion to donate to charities! to help the world. instead it was robbed from him, sent through a maze of corruption and incompetence, and ultimately used to wipe shit off a floor made of shit
and now he supports this sort of robbery of others. fuck him. he’s a traitor
" can you imagine if he hadn’t had so much money stolen by the american government over his lifetime? "
Jeez, Curtis, what kind of Canadian are you?
Buffet isn’t a traitor to capitalism. He’s a class traitor. Two different things.
>>how evil taxes are.<<
Really they’re evil?!?!? How then shall we fix roads, pay for police and fire services, defend our borders or do the countless other things that keep society functioning on a day to day basis?
^put them on the credit card (or better yet, not fix roads, not pay police, etc).
Nobody likes to increase the debt more than republicans.
Obama’s spending is child’s play compared to republicans.
Actually, Elizabeth Warren wins.
“Jeez, Curtis, what kind of Canadian are you?”
i’m on my brett hull shit
">>how evil taxes are.<<
Really they’re evil?!?!? How then shall we fix roads, pay for police and fire services, defend our borders or do the countless other things that keep society functioning on a day to day basis?"
i was hyperbolising for effect. way to avoid the crux of my position though. HOW REPUBLICAN OF YOUR DEBATING TECHNIQUE e__e
^ It’s strange that people who see governments as being fundamentally corrupt and incompetence don’t see charities/ngos as being – at least- equally so. (and i don’t understand any hockey references so you lost me).
brett hull was born in canada but represented the united states in international tournaments
of course lots of charities/ngos are corrupt/incompetent… but donating to them isn’t mandatory, like taxation is. you don’t get put in a cage if you decide you’d rather donate elsewhere
Ooh, a debate about economic policy and I’m missing it!
A) Al Gore did win in 2000. The Supreme Court just decided to halt the recount, then complain about Judicial Activism, in an effort to create an irony black hole from which no logic can escape.
B) I’m not a fan of the Bush tax cuts but you certainly can’t blame them for the economy tanking. You can blame them for the deficit ballooning and the credit rating going down. But, they had nothing to do with the recession. The recession happened because a lot of bankers were giving high risk loans then selling them in pieces.
If you think huge amounts of money can’t be cut out of the budget, you’re delusional. Government agencies do not first figure out how much money they need then ask for that much money. They take as much money as they can, then figure out how to spend it. It’s never in their interest to spend less money because if they do they will get less money next year, so no government agency will ever admit to not needing every penny they’re given.
Also, if you think society could not run on its own without more than minimal government services like defense and police force, or that government is the only hedge against a corporate dictatorship, you’re indoctrinated.
I’m for the government paying for police, roads, defense (Defense meaning defense, not offense), education, children’s health care, and things like that. Anything else, if it deserves to be funded, should be funded through voluntary donations, and tax payers shouldn’t be forced to pay for the consequences of other peoples’ voluntarily made bad decisions.
Some taxation is necessary just to have a safe place with a level playing field, but let’s not delude ourselves into thinking that the fruits of our own labor are owned by anybody but us, or that anybody else is responsible to bail us out of our own bad decisions.
I submit that if they cut 20% out of taxes, but required that 20% to be spent in ways that help other people, people would spend it in ways that benefit people a lot more than the government would spend it.
It is true the country is divided, but most of the division is under one issue: Religion, and it’s the religious demagogues who are riling everybody up and make both the extremely religious and the extremely secular feel, inaccurately, under attack by malicious forces.
99% of religious people don’t want to force their will on atheists, but 1% of religious people have convinced the 99% that atheists want to force their will on them, and they’re using homosexuality and abortion to make everybody as angry as possible for their own personal benefit.
Re: Direct democracy
The problem is that most people are so busy they’re not informed so they just vote with their emotions. Ancient Greece had direct democracy and they voted on several occasions to purge the population of a conquered city. One time, one demagogue stood up and convinced them to vote for genocide. Then, another demagogue stood up and convinced them to vote against genocide, so they sent a ship to stop them from doing it. Thousands of murders depending on which charismatic person talked last. The only way direct democracy could work is if people had to be educated in formal logic, philosophy and history before they could vote.
“The recession happened because a lot of bankers were giving high risk loans then selling them in pieces.”
But even so, this could have been properly regulated. The real problem was that this market was operating all but unsupervised. Regulation failed to keep up with the system.
The only way direct democracy could work is if people had to be educated in formal logic, philosophy and history before they could vote.
That sounds like the only way representative democracy could work, too!
They tried that during the Roman Republic . . . didn’t work worth a Caesar.
@jirin“If you think huge amounts of money can’t be cut out of the budget, you’re delusional.”“Also, if you think society could not run on its own without more than minimal government services like defense and police force, or that government is the only hedge against a corporate dictatorship, you’re indoctrinated.”
woah woah woah WOAH. that quote was me quoting someone else. i hate taxes. i hate government. i think that a totally free market and an educated consumer base = perfection. want to make this v clear: i hate socialism
@matt parks“But even so, this could have been properly regulated. The real problem was that this market was operating all but unsupervised. Regulation failed to keep up with the system.”
screw regulation. there’s nothing wrong with an economic recession now and again. oh boo hoo, someone bought a house for $400k and now they can only sell it for $175k. you know what that means? that means they grossly overpaid for their house. would you feel sorry for someone who paid $100 for a big mac then was like, “hey man, this burger is of poor quality!” no, of course not, because that person is an idiot, just like someone who pays $400k for a house worth $175k
the same logic applies to people who bought CDOs underlain by CDOs underlain by CDOs etc without having any fucking clue what risk that sort of asset entails
Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa… you question the quality of a Big Mac?
Now it’s personal…
@ Jirin -
“Al Gore did win in 2000.”
Of course. I agree. But like I said, had a couple more people voted for him (how about winning your own state, Al?) or those infantile Nader supporters had used their heads instead of their anus to vote, none of this would have mattered.
Are you saying the deficit and the economy are mutually exclusive? Clinton raised taxes and the budget was balanced, we got a surplus, and the economy flourished. Are these just coincidences?
I think it’s a little disingenuous to ignore the fact that since Reagen lowered taxes in the early 80s, (and they’ve continued to be lowered ever since) the income gap between the rich and the poor has continued to expand. This shit is allll related. Of course the banks are to blame. But so are a lot of other people.
“so no government agency will ever admit to not needing every penny they’re given”
This is usually the case so you really have to hand it to Robert Gates when he admitted to not needing all that money for the Defense Dept a couple years ago.
“I submit that if they cut 20% out of taxes, but required that 20% to be spent in ways that help other people, people would spend it in ways that benefit people a lot more than the government would spend it.”
Man, I couldn’t disagree more. You know why? Because there are way too many awful people in this country that would “help” people that either don’t need help or shouldn’t be helped. And a lot of the people who really need help wouldn’t get it. I’m sort of hinting at the racism that still permeates this country because of the recent event in Florida but I think it’s an important issue that shouldn’t be ignored.
In other words, there are a lot of people in this country that get screwed and need assistance from society and it’s the job of the collective, the responsibility of the community, our fellow man, to help the unfortunate. But if you leave it up to the individual, who might be racist or sexist or just plain ignorant, I can guarantee you that that person will not help anyone.
“The only way direct democracy could work is if people had to be educated in formal logic, philosophy and history before they could vote.”
This of course will never happen. As Rick Santurum (you know, the hypocrite with three college degrees) says, “Don’t send your kids to college!”
^ seconded! (the Nader anus part)
i loved this thread
“i hate socialism”
lol. One less person on Social Security, Medicare, and sending his kids to public schools! whoohoo!
“screw regulation. there’s nothing wrong with an economic recession now and again. oh boo hoo,”
Yikes. I wouldn’t want to be the recipient of your secret Santa gift at Xmas.
haha – the QT threads are always the best!
Thank you for demonstrating a thorough lack of understanding of the issue, Curtis. That’s exactly the sort of thing we need more of around here.