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Re: Election 2012

Postby Brekkie » Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:32 pm

Cogglamp wrote:
Brekkie wrote:
Cogglamp wrote:However, things have begun to change even in some of the monarchies. Qatar and Saudi Arabia are providing for additional rights. While they're still under a regime of some sorts, the progress shouldn't be discounted. It's a short term fix and isn't a lasting option as both countries seem to keep the majority of its populace quiet by using its vast petrodollar resources in the form of public spending.


I think you are vastly over-stating the impact the Arab Spring had in countries that are not Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya.


I'm not sure how I "vastly over-stated" the impact as I said it's not a long term solution and recognized that they're still under a regime. However, discounting the fact that some rights are being granted, you're ignoring some intrinsic desires of the common people that once you taste a little bit of freedom, you crave for it more and more.

It will probably take decades to see the real extent of the change in that region but I think that even the slightest bit of reform/change is good. That's all I was getting at.


You claim there has been "progress" in nations like Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
There has been no real progress in those nations.

Name me one right that a Saudi has that they didn't have before the Arab Spring?
I worked in the US Embassy to Saudi Arabia during the Arab Spring. I assure you that, if anything, the Sunni Monarchies got even MORE totalitarian, not less. That is unlikely to change any time in the foreseeable future.

The thing a lot of people don't understand is that few people in the Middle East (note: not Northeast Africa) actually WANT democracy, in the sense we think of it. They want tribal/sectarian power balance.
This can be easily confused with wanting democracy, in situations where a minority tribe is oppressing a majority tribe.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Brekkie » Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:39 pm

Fridmarr wrote:The bulk of those problems are with front line troops, but there are plenty of other positions that have marketable skills.

You don't build infrastructure with tanks and guns, you need standard equipment for that. We employed many civilians for those ends as well.

I don't have a cavalier attitude toward the US debt, but your question was suggesting that we are currently feeling some pain from "draining our vast economic resources".

Despite all the conjecture about oil, we didn't go to Iraq to turn a profit making the focus of your question specious in the first place. We'll have to wait and see how the security aspect turns out, certainly the potential is far better than it once was.

I think suggesting that at the end of the day we probably won't be better off especially when you factor in the human cost (which makes the financial discussion seem childish) is a fair argument. It's also difficult because there are certainly scenarios that could have been costly had we done nothing just from the lack of stability that was there and the political turmoil that was on the horizon, much less ill intent.

But I think Sky's question was pretty fair because this wasn't all about us either. The people suffering under the previous regime and their plight going forward do count and it's really the only thing that can compare to the human cost on our side.


In terms of generating economic stimulus, what is the difference between defense-related government spending, and other government spending?

I often hear Conservatives making the case that government spending cannot create jobs or stimulate the economy (this being the primary attack against the "failure" of the way Obama combated the recession), but then turn around and use "but it would destroy jobs" as an argument against cutting defense spending.
This seems like cognitive dissonance to me. So which is it; can government deficit spending stimulate the economy, or can't it?


edit: I'd also point to the massive veteran unemployment rate despite getting free college via the GI Bill as evidence that participation in the military is somewhat less-than-ideal for launching people into the productive work force.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fridmarr » Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:07 pm

Government spending certainly can stimulate the economy. I'm not sure conservatives say that it doesn't in the plain sense.

I think their point is that it's ultimately inefficient. Generally to create jobs with government spending you had to take money from people and then invest it in the jobs creating program. That's an inefficient process when done properly as it is, but then you add the federal government behind it and all that bureaucracy and it's even worse.

Now you can borrow that money too (which is what we usually do), but eventually you'll pay that money back plus interest, so at some point that cost will catch up with you. Because of that, each year we literally burn money on absolutely nothing of value to us, it's just an interest payment. When liberals say that the best stimulus we have is unemployment, and all that that is, is literally giving money to people, then the logical thought is, why not keep taxes low and the money in the job creators hands in the first place. So raising taxes to fund a jobs program, or to fund an interest payment on a previously unfunded jobs program, can result in a net loss of jobs over the long term.

Defense spending isn't a good way to stimulate the economy, you guys have pointed out some of the issues with it and those are valid points. But it's not a zero either, in the short term. Long term for an economy like we have now, it's terrible. Unlike the 40s were defense spending created a massive bubble that kind of had to be restrained.

If you want to talk specifically to the stimulus and the problems with it, I can. But conservatives weren't saying that it wouldn't create jobs, but that it was too expensive for its short term nature.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Brekkie » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:36 pm

"I don't believe that unelected judges should be making these decisions." -Paul Ryan

Republican ticket officially is against the Supreme Court, and the process of judicial review established by the Founding Fathers.

Holy cow.

Why aren't more people talking about this?
Are we really so off the deep end that no one even bats an eye when a candidate for the presidential ticket advocates overturning the entire system of checks and balances and three-branch system of government?
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Brekkie » Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:35 am

Fridmarr wrote:Government spending certainly can stimulate the economy. I'm not sure conservatives say that it doesn't in the plain sense.

I think their point is that it's ultimately inefficient. Generally to create jobs with government spending you had to take money from people and then invest it in the jobs creating program. That's an inefficient process when done properly as it is, but then you add the federal government behind it and all that bureaucracy and it's even worse.

Now you can borrow that money too (which is what we usually do), but eventually you'll pay that money back plus interest, so at some point that cost will catch up with you. Because of that, each year we literally burn money on absolutely nothing of value to us, it's just an interest payment. When liberals say that the best stimulus we have is unemployment, and all that that is, is literally giving money to people, then the logical thought is, why not keep taxes low and the money in the job creators hands in the first place. So raising taxes to fund a jobs program, or to fund an interest payment on a previously unfunded jobs program, can result in a net loss of jobs over the long term.

Defense spending isn't a good way to stimulate the economy, you guys have pointed out some of the issues with it and those are valid points. But it's not a zero either, in the short term. Long term for an economy like we have now, it's terrible. Unlike the 40s were defense spending created a massive bubble that kind of had to be restrained.

If you want to talk specifically to the stimulus and the problems with it, I can. But conservatives weren't saying that it wouldn't create jobs, but that it was too expensive for its short term nature.


I'd like to have a conversation about this.

Preliminary questions for you:

1) Was conducting stimulus spending to combat the recession justified? If you answer with "no", then what would you have done instead and why?

2) What specific elements of the stimulus spending do you have problems with, out of the greater whole? Do you dislike them because you consider them to be A)ineffective as stimulus, or B)not worth doing for some other reason?
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Klaudandus » Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:10 am

This is what irks me, before we go aboard and tell everyone else how to run their country, we should fix most of the problems we have here inside our borders.

It's insane that a single F-22 raptor accounts for thrice the yearly budget for the school district I work for.

Not to mention, as Brekkie has pointed out already, all the problem VAs have when they are discharged.

So forgive me if I'd rather have the US buy one less F-22 and use that money on helping our VAs or someone else that really needs it.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby aureon » Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:36 am

I think their point is that it's ultimately inefficient. Generally to create jobs with government spending you had to take money from people and then invest it in the jobs creating program. That's an inefficient process when done properly as it is, but then you add the federal government behind it and all that bureaucracy and it's even worse.

The fact is that this goes against historical facts. We've now got a pretty good understanding of fiscal multipliers, and targeted stimulus is about four times as efficient as tax cuts.
So, yeah.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fridmarr » Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:45 am

Aueron
I'm not sure we are talking exactly the same thing. I mean, I'd agree that government spending is going to cause more "stimulus" than a tax cut. I did not mean to suggest otherwise, though I think I can see how my comments came off that way. In a silly hypothetical if you took 1 million dollars and gave it out in 10 dollar chunks to 100,000 folks, very little would come of that in the short term. Its stimulating effect would be small. Long term that recurring money starts to yield some power across the board, but as I stimulus, it's rather unimpressive.

On the flip side 1 million dollars specifically "targetted" and concentrated towards jobs is going to see some returns, much more than a spread out tax cut. Long term though, as interest is applied, that 1 million becomes...a lot more and each year an opportunity cost is lost with money having to be spent on interest instead of a jobs program or left in the tax payers hands.

You end up with a lot of variables when you want to look at the long term that can drastically affect the final tally. In the short term though I don't think there is much debate.

Brekkie
Ryan's comments: At first glance that doesn't strike me as troublesome. I know you and I had the conversation about Obama's comments earlier this year, I don't think that left a sort of lasting impression either. One could argue that the chief justice was somewhat saying the same thing with his decision on Obamacare, and the justices do at times comments on things that are questions for the people (legislature) not for them to decide on. So without context, it's really hard to have much of an opinion on that comment.

The answer to your first question is yes, I'm ok with government stimulus. The short answer to your second question is that my biggest complaint was the lack of infrastructure spending. I think it was a very very rushed plan with almost no reason to hurry in such a way, and the result was a significant missed opportunity. WIthout the infrastructure spending, we are kind of left with a big bill for a bit of a one time bump, not something that provides as much returns long term as we could have had.

Klaud
I think most of us would agree that military spending should be significantly reduced going forward, and certainly some of that spending could go towards domestic policy. Though specifically to your example, you are somewhat talking apples and oranges. Schools are typically primarily funded at the state and local levels, and of course the military is at the federal level.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Klaudandus » Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:03 am

Fridmarr wrote:Klaud
I think most of us would agree that military spending should be significantly reduced going forward, and certainly some of that spending could go towards domestic policy. Though specifically to your example, you are somewhat talking apples and oranges. Schools are typically primarily funded at the state and local levels, and of course the military is at the federal level.


I never said that the money should go to schools first (although I'd not mind it thru federal grants) -- in fact, the first thing I said was that the money could go to helping VAs.
So forgive me if I'd rather have the US buy one less F-22 and use that money on helping our VAs or someone else that really needs it.


Just saying.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fridmarr » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:01 am

My mistake I misread your post.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Klaudandus » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:11 am

Fridmarr wrote:My mistake I misread your post.


I normally wouldnt care, but this case it did affect the intent of my argument.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Melathys » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:19 am

One valid point this article has is the argument people give for voting for Romney. Rather than capitulating valid reasons for voting Romney, all I hear is "we need to get Obama out of office." There are plenty of valid reasons for not voting for either one...

http://www.unitedliberty.org/articles/1 ... of-cowards
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fridmarr » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:53 am

I didn't read the link but I would assume that is pretty common. "Anybody but (fill in the blank")
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Brekkie » Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:12 pm

Fridmarr wrote:Aueron
The answer to your first question is yes, I'm ok with government stimulus. The short answer to your second question is that my biggest complaint was the lack of infrastructure spending. I think it was a very very rushed plan with almost no reason to hurry in such a way, and the result was a significant missed opportunity. WIthout the infrastructure spending, we are kind of left with a big bill for a bit of a one time bump, not something that provides as much returns long term as we could have had.


Well, darn.
Here I was all prepared to launch a gigantic essay. But I actually think that's a fair criticism.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Torquemada » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:19 pm

Brekkie wrote:"I don't believe that unelected judges should be making these decisions." -Paul Ryan

Republican ticket officially is against the Supreme Court, and the process of judicial review established by the Founding Fathers.

Holy cow.

Why aren't more people talking about this?
Are we really so off the deep end that no one even bats an eye when a candidate for the presidential ticket advocates overturning the entire system of checks and balances and three-branch system of government?


Unfortunately I missed the Veep debate, as the FOB I'm at only shows sports in the DFAC. I was able to watch the first Prez debate while I was at the terminal at Bagram trying to get the hell over to here. I'd like to know the greater context behind Ryan's comment. In all fairness the Founding Fathers did NOT give the Court judicial review. Show me in what article or what amendment is stated that the Supreme Court should have the power to uphold whether or not a law is unconstitutional. That power was seized upon by John Marshall in Marbury v. Madison, and it was a move that pissed off BOTH SIDES of the case.

In the modern era, most people who are aware of it have accepted the practice of judicial review in much the same way the most people accept the concept of the Federal Reserve, the income tax, etc. as a construct of our society. That said, strict constructionists (Of whom I count myself a member) hold that it is the role of the court to uphold the Constitution, and that striking down a law is done because it is outside the bounds of government. This should be a check to the power of Congress to pass whatever the Hell it wants, and the President to sign off on it. My main concern to that respect is judicial activism, which is predicated on the idea that the Constitution is somehow flexible (Apart from the amendment process), and that should adjust to fit the times or the morals of the moment. I strongly disagree with that assumption, and if we really want to change the Constitution, we should amend it. That said, again, I have no idea what the context of that statement is, and my internet sucks too much to try to go look it up.
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