Discussion in 'Political Discussions' started by ryoder, Oct 5, 2011.
Somehow we got on a Communism kick, and things have really gone south. I need a drink.
15 Posts out of a 62 post thread sure looks like better things to do onder:
That's actually pretty impressive, 24% not too bad. I've had a few threads like that where it comes from all sides. You are doing admirably, I mean apart from the snarky tone and vapidness, it's an interesting show.
I really don't like to lose, especially when I'm right.
The study of history is a powerful antidote to contemporary arrogance. It is humbling to discover how many of our glib assumptions, which seem to us novel and plausible, have been tested before, not once but many times and in innumerable guises; and discovered to be, at great human cost, wholly false.
Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm-- but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.
-- T. S. Elliot
For what it's worth, I wasn't looking for a hole in your overall argument, I was only responding to your Cuba comment. You say you don't consider it central to your argument, but you're the one who brought it up. You refer to its national success as thought that were synonymous with the longevity of its regime. You say that this is despite an American "blockade", when there is none; there's a partial embargo, and while I agree that the embargo is bad, it's not at all the same thing.
You're the smartest person you know. I got it :cool2:
Another cheap shot.
Here's my point, in a nutshell, and then I'm done with this thread.
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children."
-Dwight D. Eisenhower
What do you think about this?
I'm German, and I think it is not really appropriate to be to much involved in this particular thread, simply because this is pretty much an internal affair of the US and my point of view may be unwanted or even misunderstood here. However, I just want to know: What do you think about this article. A German Take On Why The Wall Street Protesters Make Sense, Despite Themselves - Worldcrunch - All News is Global It is the English translation of an originally German article in one of the largest national newspapers of Germany. It's point of view is really quite common, not only in Germany but also in many other Western European Countries. Most remarkable, in my opinion, is the last paragraph:
Mintaru, America does have homegrown historians such as Will and Ariel Durant who have written extensively on the lessons of history. They even wrote a short very readable book entitled "The Lessons of History" with include chapters like "Socialism and History", "Economics and History", "Religion and History". I bet that most people in America haven't read any of their works.
From the chapter Government and History
Democracy is the most difficult of all forms of government, since it requires the widest spread of intelligence, and we forgot to make ourselves intelligent when we made ourselves sovereign. Education has spread, but intelligence is perpetually retarded by the fertility of the simple. A cynic remarked that "you mustn't enthrone ignorance just because there is so much of it." However, ignorance is not long enthroned, for it lends itself to manipulation by the forces that mold public opinion. It may be true, as Lincoln supposed, that "you can't fool all the people all the time," but you can fool enough of them to rule a large country.
We are our own worst enemy.
Take the sub-prime mortgage crisis which began with the absurd notion that most Americans should own a home regardless of whether they can really afford one over the long haul, then was fueled by corporate greed and wild speculation. Germany has one of the lower home ownership rates in the EU at around 45%. Germany by and large requires a 20% down payment to purchase a home. The sub-prime mortgage crisis could and would never happen in Germany. Yet a portion of Americans cringe at the thought of even discussing any ideas that originate outside of this country, regardless of merit.
Okay then Tom, since you are convinced you are right, then please answer the prevailing question, since you have such a trust in government to be able to do the "right" (as in correct/humane/etc.) thing then why not start at the town, county or state level? Why start at the federal level?
Second question, what constitutional basis would such action be based upon? (Redistribution of wealth or confiscation of wealth of the top 1%?)
And yes, I am unapologetically a capitalist and not scared of the label of being on the "right". I am not sure why the label "socialist" torques you so...even implied.
As for your Eisenhower quote above, that is the "guns or butter" argument that every high school economics course in America uses. It was also a lament of the cost of war above and beyond the simple human cost in lives but Eisenhower would be the first to admit that without those guns, individual liberties would exist only at the leisure of those with the guns. And as history proves (since as you pointed out this is an education forum) usually those with the most/biggest/best guns also have the most "butter". Coincidence?
Also an observation...why did you change your signature? You're getting an MBA at Herzig right? Isn't that a "for profit" college? I'm not saying there's something even remotely wrong with that since #1 I got my MBA from a for profit school and #2 learning business from someone "in business" just makes sense to me...
I don't care where it starts, honestly. It needs to include the Federal level (cutting the military), so why not start there? They seem to have an awful large share of the tax revenue. The starting point seems somewhat unimportant, from the standpoint of arguing that it needs to happen.
I addressed this much earlier. Incentives would be used to decrease the income disparity, not force. It would work out in a way similar to force, practically speaking, as there would be strong disincentives for overpaying executives as well. (That, however, is accepted practice.)
It doesn't torque me. However: I'm not a socialist, nor am I a capitalist. I see good and bad in both, and I think any practical government is going to incorporate ideas from both.
I have nothing against the idea of maintaining a defense force. Seriously, however, we spend more than the rest of the world combined. This is not necessary, especially as the majority of our allies are also major military powers. I'm against the wholesale, pork barrel waste.
Practically speaking, we do not need a very large military for purely defensive purposes. There are more guns than people in this country. Invasion, or attempted occupation, would make Iraq look like a cake walk (and it clearly isn't one). There is also the small matter of the 10,000 nuclear weapons in our stockpile.
I support the troops by wanting to bring them back home.
I changed my signature in order to slightly increase my anonymity on this forum. If I'm going to speak my mind, I don't necessarily want it showing up in a background check. (Don't want people thinking I might be a pinko commie or something.)
“WAR is a racket. It always has been.” (Re MG Smedley Butler, USMC)
“Smedley Butler was probably America's most noteworthy soldier. He was the only soldier awarded 2 Medals of Honor (e.g., for capture of Vera Cruz, Mexico, 1914, and for capture of Ft. Riviere, Haiti, 1917) and would have had a third if officers had been eligible at the time of the Boxer Rebellion.”
The US Marines in Beijing in the Boxer Rebellion and Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler's War is a Racket
Note: Private John Joseph Kelly, USMC (1898-1957) was awarded two Medals of Honor, one by the U.S. Navy and one by the U.S. Army ; however unlike Butler, Kelly’s was for the same action (Blanc Mont Ridge France 1918) . E.g., the 6th Marine Regiment was attached to the U.S. Army 2nd Division).
US People--Kelly, John J, Private, USMC
1984 by George Orwell
"[War] is always so planned as to eat up any surplus that might exist after meeting the bare needs of the population . . . It is a deliberate policy to keep even the favoured groups somewhere near the brink of hardship, because a general state of scarcity increases the importance of small privileges and thus magnifies the distinction between one group and another."
Relevance? I just think it is an interesting quote.
The most ridiculous (and, if you’re sympathetic to them, tragic) thing about OWS is that they’re trying to mobilize the left against “the system” at the very moment the left is mobilizing to re-elect the guy who’s in charge of the system. In an alternate reality, state senator Obama would be giving a speech today at Occupy Chicago about how greed is the cancer of America or whatever; in this reality, President Obama needs to watch his mouth and stay on the good side of those Wall Street one-percenters who helped bankroll his campaign last time.
The whole dynamic is a cosmic joke, amplified by the reality that millions of liberals have eschewed protests over the last few years out of allegiance to the current ruling Democrat and/or the perpetual fear of the imminent wingnut apocalypse that’ll surely unfold if their own party leadership is weakened. That’s why the anti-war movement has faded into nothing; that’s why there’s apprehension but no outrageously outrageous outrage over The One ignoring his own lawyers to wage war in Libya or relying on a secret national-security panel that can place Americans on a “kill list.” Those sins, committed by a Republican, would signal the end of the republic per standard left-wing blather. Committed by a Democrat, they’re merely … “troubling.” Or maybe not even that.
All of this changes, obviously, if Obama is ousted in favor of Perry or, heaven forbid, Mitt Romney, whose patrician air and banking pedigree would give the left the cartoon villain that thoughtful sophisticates like them require. Then war can be bad again, as can money from financiers flowing into a candidate’s pockets, and suddenly that lost moment of liberal utopia after they won everything in 2008 can begin anew.
Cuts to the military industrial complex in favor of social programs would be a grave mistake. Especially since #1 the military is one of the few functions of government that more or less works and #2 because much of the innovation funded and pushed forward by the military in private industry is used to develop technologies we use daily (like the internet) and also allows for exclusive manufacturing of goods/weapons which are then sold overseas (like the F16 fighter jets). These are some of the few good paying, manufacturing jobs left in the U.S. and they generate wealth for everyone from the guy sweeping the shop floor to yes...the CEOs of the various companies involved. So trading off a wealth building entity for entitlements (which deplete wealth) just does not make fiscal sense.
This is a textbook example of the broken window fallacy. Yes, one can point to advancements in engineering that come from military spending, but what you then cannot see are the advancements that would have come from a larger, more robust private sector.
However, I agree that shifting military spending to entitlement spending is not much of an improvement.
Well that was an interesting internet research project that I just completed. I never heard of this fallacy before, but it's a pretty neat one. It reminds me of when I used to go with family to the movies and I was the only one who had the courtesy to pick up my own tray and cups to dispose of in the garbage can. My cousins and uncles reasoned that they were helping out the economy by furthering the need for someone to be hired to clean it up... :dunce:
I'm just curious why the Tea Party rallies (where no one was arrested) were denounced as radical and racist, while the Occupy protests (hundreds of arrests) are being called "Democracy in action".
I saw a professional anarchist protesting in Boston on a local TV news show, and he was saying "This is the face of Democracy", but he was hiding his own face with a bandana......ummmm, what?
Very interesting book. Thanks for the link.
Maybe, but I always thought this is true in every democracy. Germans, for instance, once used democracy to abolish democracy. (Hitler was elected!)
That's probably true, the sub-prime mortgage crisis could never happen in Germany, but that's not my point. I grew up in former East Germany (in the town of Rostock) and I know for sure that I would not live in a reunified and free country today without the US (and especially not without presidents like Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr.). To be honest, I even want Germany to be a little bit more like the US... the OLD US! But it seems - from the outside - that the US is on the decline, faster than very most Americans think! That really worries me!
Yes, the followers of both, the Occupy Wall Street movement and the Tea Party do not really have a clue, but there still is something fundamentally wrong in the US. This has to be fixed. Otherwise, not only the US but the West as a whole will decline - and I don't want to live in a world were the only superpower is communist China...
OWS Being Misdirected?
"Yo, braheems, word of advice: you should be directing your righteous rage against the professors, faculty and admin of your chosen school of hard ownage. You went there, they gave you a shitty, useless liberal arts degree and saddled you with mounds of debt. You compounded that debt because the college experience just wouldn’t be intellectual enough if you didn’t splurge on status whoring necessities like $5 lattes and Macbook pros. Now the world is changing with smart and industrious billion-plus Chinese coming on board to gut the value of your social media relations dreamjobs that you and the rest of the country wants and you’re pissed about it. Truth is, the university system is the droid you’re looking for.
But no, you’ll obey your professors’ marching orders and fall back on tired old protest cliches, railing against the finance fat cats when the more pertinent oppressors (in your cases) are the monopolists who run academia and the federal government which subsidizes their bust-the-inflation curve tuition hike increases with giveaway loan programs. Coupled with the credentialist zeitgeist pushing idiots into college and open borders human capital depreciation that devalues vocational work and college degrees alike, the academia fleecing steamrolls through your future. And you lash out impotently."
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