Politics (formerly Election 2012)

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Brekkie » Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:39 am

Fridmarr wrote:
Dantriges wrote:And well school rducation is more or less in the hands of the provinces over here and it´s a gigantic waste of resources, too and they can´t agree on anything if they are all affected. That´s just bureauracy, no matter if it´s on a state or nation wide level. We are long past the time where village level administration is sufficient which is probably more efficient... in rural towns. There are enough countries in the world as big as your average US state that are perfectly capable of wasting big bucks in big bureaucracy. So if you transfer power over to the states, your tax dollars will go to waste within the then expanded state administration. Perhaps you can save quite a few bucks if you disband the Union completely and let every state work for himself but somehow I don´t think that there are so many people in favor of that.


Here's it's not a choice between state level bureaucracy vs federal level.  We actually have both, we get the worst of both worlds.  Education is actually mostly a state thing, it used to be more local but it's been moving more and more towards the state and even federal a bit.  The federal government just coerces states to do various things by taking their money and holding it until the states comply. 

Many of our programs are run in that way, the degree varies, but a lot of these programs would run just fine (aside from funding) if the federal gov't stopped existing tomorrow.  The fed comes up with the rules, a chunk of the money (sometimes all of it), but the states do most the implementation.  The fed just becomes a sort of draconian compliance and reporting authority.

Brekkie wrote:And this is exactly why I have trouble understanding the "states rights" argument.


My line of work has enabled me to get a pretty decent working knowledge of many levels of business in both the private and public sector.  Needless to say I could probably write quite a bit on that topic, but I have neither the time nor the inclination at the moment, and I suspect no one is interested in hearing it anyhow.  That said, if you've ever uttered the phrase "large corporation" you get the idea, only in the public sector the risks and balances are even more skewed.  Now, I'm not naive enough to consider states to be the equivalent of "small business", but our current system is just one more layer of abstration which emphasizes those negative qualities that much more.
 



Here's the thing...

Much of those state programs involve the Federal government providing much (or all) of the funding, as you pointed out. What this really boils down to is monetary transfers from wealthy states that have their shit together, to backwater poor (mostly politically red) states with all kinds of problems and mismanagement.

I think that it is reasonable that, if one entity is giving another entity a ton of money, the giver gets to impose reasonable conditions and limits on what that money can be used for.
If the Federal Government didn't exist, we'd have no one to tell the South that they can't let poor people starve in the streets, nor let their companies dump pollutants into water sources that carry it elsewhere, nor teach their children in school that creationism is a real science, or that the Civil War had nothing to do with black people, or that prayer is an effective way of preventing teen pregnancy.

You are from the Midwest, so I can understand your perspective as a Midwesterner somewhat. The Midwest largely has its shit together, and is very live-and-let-live (unless you are Mexican in Arizona).
But where you perceive the Federal Government as an excessive extra layer of bureaucracy, I as a Northerner see it as the only thing stopping the South from taking tax dollars that overwhelmingly come from me and my region and using them to turn themselves into the third-world country they seem to so desperately want to become.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:38 am

Well first, I have to say all the gross generalizations about people because of urban/rural/geographic location are frankly disgusting, and of course not very accurate.

Brekkie

I have never lived in a mid western state.  I guess some people recently started lumping PA in there sometimes, because in college athetics PSU joined the BigTen which is a mostly mid western conference, but geographically, climatically, and culturally PA isn't a mid western state.  So whatever sort of thinking you figure I somehow must have purely based on where I grew is up is based off of an incorrect premise, as utterly flawed as that entire logic path is.

I grew up in North East, lived in the South with the Air Force, and now live in the Pacific Northwest/West Coast.  The differences between these regions are very slight.  It ought to go without saying, there is no real difference in wisdom based on geographic location.

Now, lets get to monetary transfers between states, because undoubtedly we've all seen the red/state blue state map that tracks states that receive more federal dollars than they pay in.  There are several problems with data, first of all, it's all federal spending, not necessarily entitlement spending.  Secondly, it doesn't account for cost of living, which generally affect collection more than payouts.  Third, if you actually look at the data, it's old and uses the 2004 election as a determination of whether or not a state is red or blue, so swing states are generally considered red for that map, whereas today they'd be blue based on the last two elections.


Now the biggest problem is it's all federal dollars not just entitlements.  For instace it's skewed by social security/medicare, the two biggest payouts by the fed.  Everyone who paid taxes will be receiving these benefits when they retire.  One thing you will notice, that percentages of the population that have retired is quite often above the national average in states where there is a warm climate.  Because people who live there and have retired tend to stay, and people that live in cold climates tend to move to those regions when they retire.  Many of those states are red.

On the flip side, if you look at states with the highest percentages of their population receiving TANF (welfare/food stamps etc), they aren't red.  In fact of the top 15 only maybe two would be considered red.  This notion that blue states have their shit together are wealthy and give their money to poor states that are backwards and a red, is stupid and false.  The ability to balance a budget or take care of your own people, isn't strictly tied to red and blue.  Both sides of that equation are more than capable of prosperity and both sides are more than capable of fucking it up horribly.  We aren't talking about communism vs anarchy here. There are varying degrees and the differences between many of these states are far more subtle and dynamic. I can't believe that even had to be stated...

Also, the federal government does almost none of what you listed.

 

Dantriges

Heh, well first our smallville schools generally outperform our inner city schools, as do private schools out perform public schools with out all that government oversight.  The reasons for that isn't purely a red/blue urban/suburban thing, but my point is merely that there's not a problem there to be solved by the feds. I'm also not suggesting that the Fed has no role at all, merely that the bulk of these sorts of things are almost always better handles locally where there is more accountability and agility.

We need school districts that can innovate and try new things and learn from others and compete.  Yes that means that there will be failures, but we have to be careful about hamstringing our school districts with ancient compliancy models that are in place solely to receive their essential funding.  We potentially need more funding in places too, and certainly it needs to be a higher priority than it is in all but the local governments.  None of that requires our current infrastructure of local/fed/state which I believe has ulimately hindered edcuation more than it is has helped.

Also, that tax system you joked about, is exactly what we do in fact have.  Our states don't send money to the feds.  The feds tax the people and then disburse that money to the states.  The states tax the people too, but generally keep it or distribute it to lower levels of gov.  The state I live in doesn't even have an income tax, so I don't even file state taxes.  I still pay them of course, just differently than I do federal.

What I was getting at about the programs being able to be run at the state level if the fed disappeared, is that the heavy federal level is not needed and again, often simply gets in the way.  Obviously they need the money from the feds in the current system, but (and I thought this was obvious) if the fed wasn't taking that money in the first place, then the states could collect what they need and all would be fine, in fact better.

You can look at lots of regulations on these programs and other things like the farm bill come to mind, and it's not hard to see how the fed is likely doing more harm than good.  It's at times well intentioned, but we have a big problem with lobbying and especially legislative district vote manipulation, and by concentrating so much power among such a small group of people that are also abstracted away from accountability, it's just going to get worse.  That's pretty much a universal human truth.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:05 pm

Time to reset the 'days since GOP says something stupid about rape' counter
http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2013 ... fpnewsfeed
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Shoju » Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:39 pm

Klaudandus wrote:Time to reset the 'days since GOP says something stupid about rape' counter
http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2013 ... fpnewsfeed


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Even Dubya knows it's time to shutup about rape.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Torquemada » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:40 pm

Shoju wrote:Why? Because he took Al-Jazeera's money? Because they are funded by a country whose funding is based on Oil? I guess I don't understand. Just because you are an environmentalist, you can't even deal with people who do other things? Just because Quatar has a big carbon footprint, he shouldn't make a business decision to sell something to them?

I don't care much for Al "I invented the internet" Gore, but I hardly see him selling his stake in a TV Company as hypocritical.

Maybe if he owned a for profit "greenpeace" type company and sold out to Oil Barons, that'd be hypocritical. But a business deal for a TV station? Just doesn't get me all up in arms.


It doesn't get me up in arms, but I recognize it for what it is: someone who says one thing and does the opposite. Most of Gore's public comments today are about dirty oil and how little time we have to stem the tide before the world is doomed. About 7 or so years ago he said we only had 10 years to turn things around before it was too late. Then he turns around and cashes in by selling a company to the folks who per capita are what he would deem to be "the problem." Apparently their oil is dirty, but their money is perfectly ok. I personally think what he did was fine, dumping a shitty network that no one watches while the getting was good. That's good capitalism. But I find it supremely interesting that no one who is emotionally invested in the environmental movement seems to give a shit.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:56 pm

Torquemada wrote:
Shoju wrote:Why? Because he took Al-Jazeera's money? Because they are funded by a country whose funding is based on Oil? I guess I don't understand. Just because you are an environmentalist, you can't even deal with people who do other things? Just because Quatar has a big carbon footprint, he shouldn't make a business decision to sell something to them?

I don't care much for Al "I invented the internet" Gore, but I hardly see him selling his stake in a TV Company as hypocritical.

Maybe if he owned a for profit "greenpeace" type company and sold out to Oil Barons, that'd be hypocritical. But a business deal for a TV station? Just doesn't get me all up in arms.


It doesn't get me up in arms, but I recognize it for what it is: someone who says one thing and does the opposite. Most of Gore's public comments today are about dirty oil and how little time we have to stem the tide before the world is doomed. About 7 or so years ago he said we only had 10 years to turn things around before it was too late. Then he turns around and cashes in by selling a company to the folks who per capita are what he would deem to be "the problem." Apparently their oil is dirty, but their money is perfectly ok. I personally think what he did was fine, dumping a shitty network that no one watches while the getting was good. That's good capitalism. But I find it supremely interesting that no one who is emotionally invested in the environmental movement seems to give a shit.

Look at it this way:

Then: Gore had shares in a TV network nobody watches. Al Jazeera had 100 million dollars to promote Big Oil.
Now: Gore has 100 million dollars to fight Big Oil. Al Jazeera has a TV network nobody watches.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Torquemada » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:21 pm

Brekkie wrote:By the way we did find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Specifically chemical weapons. I know disabled veterans with chemical burns from artillery shells used against them in Iraq in the initial push.
This is unsurprising, since America sold Saddam these chemical weapons in the first place.

What we didn't find is nuclear weapons, or a nuclear weapons program.

But saying we found "no weapons of mass destruction" is stretching the truth a little.


Yeah, we found a few dozen chemical (Mustard gas IIRC) rounds on our FOB a few dozen meters from our AHA. We had a few instances of IEDs made from chem rounds as well, and it was always a way to get the commanders' panties in a proverbial twist.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Torquemada » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:30 pm

Fridmarr wrote:On the flip side, if you look at states with the highest percentages of their population receiving TANF (welfare/food stamps etc), they aren't red.  In fact of the top 15 only maybe two would be considered red.  This notion that blue states have their shit together are wealthy and give their money to poor states that are backwards and a red, is stupid and false.  The ability to balance a budget or take care of your own people, isn't strictly tied to red and blue.  Both sides of that equation are more than capable of prosperity and both sides are more than capable of fucking it up horribly.  We aren't talking about communism vs anarchy here. There are varying degrees and the differences between many of these states are far more subtle and dynamic. I can't believe that even had to be stated...


Also of note, there are states like Arizona where people come down for the winter then go back to the north/northeast. We call them Snowbirds. Additionally, a lot of these southern, warmer states feature a tax system that is far more advantageous to retirees. In particular, Texas and Florida don't have income taxes. This puts a disproportionate number of folks on the government dole in these southern states.

As far as the lovely racist crack about Arizona, it's full of crap. Illegal aliens/residents get a very fair shake in Arizona, especially since they aren't supposed to be there in the first place. They get an unfair shake in Texas and particularly in California, where they have access to all kinds of benefits and advantages that should be reserved only for legal residents of those states. Even Rick Perry, who is a retard to make even you Dubya haters blush, hasn't done shit to secure his border.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:52 am

And resetting the counter to Zero, on the whole GOP says something stupid about rape, yet again...
http://jezebel.com/5975076/paul-ryan-on ... o-sue-them

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http://iiicitadel.com/index.html
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Shoju » Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:15 am

Klaudandus wrote:And resetting the counter to Zero, on the whole GOP says something stupid about rape, yet again...
http://jezebel.com/5975076/paul-ryan-on ... o-sue-them

---

Also, these nuts
http://iiicitadel.com/index.html



Paul Ryan needs someone to tell him to stop. He's his own worst enemy.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Dantriges » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:06 am

Fridmarr wrote:Dantriges

Heh, well first our smallville schools generally outperform our inner city schools, as do private schools out perform public schools with out all that government oversight.  The reasons for that isn't purely a red/blue urban/suburban thing, but my point is merely that there's not a problem there to be solved by the feds. I'm also not suggesting that the Fed has no role at all, merely that the bulk of these sorts of things are almost always better handles locally where there is more accountability and agility.


Ah k, heard that your public school system is pretty bad. Yeah probably strengthening local management will be better.

Also, that tax system you joked about, is exactly what we do in fact have.  Our states don't send money to the feds.  The feds tax the people and then disburse that money to the states.  The states tax the people too, but generally keep it or distribute it to lower levels of gov.  The state I live in doesn't even have an income tax, so I don't even file state taxes.  I still pay them of course, just differently than I do federal.


Ah ok.

What I was getting at about the programs being able to be run at the state level if the fed disappeared, is that the heavy federal level is not needed and again, often simply gets in the way.  Obviously they need the money from the feds in the current system, but (and I thought this was obvious) if the fed wasn't taking that money in the first place, then the states could collect what they need and all would be fine, in fact better.


So the idea is that you change your federation to a confederacy model (I mean confederation in general, not the civil war one). Ok, would be probably affecting your foreign involvement if you transfer power from the central to the states. Yeah I assume it´s intend that the fed will handle foreign affairs but I could imagine that changes in other areas like control over the budget, more input from states will change that. Some would say, fine or even celebrate. Wonder how US citizens and the rest of the world will see that in a few years/decades.

You can look at lots of regulations on these programs and other things like the farm bill come to mind, and it's not hard to see how the fed is likely doing more harm than good.  It's at times well intentioned, but we have a big problem with lobbying and especially legislative district vote manipulation, and by concentrating so much power among such a small group of people that are also abstracted away from accountability, it's just going to get worse.  That's pretty much a universal human truth.


Pretty much, IMO most western democracies have changed into oligarchies some time ago.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:51 pm

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Sagara » Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:30 pm

Yeah, the popular reaction to euthanasia is really much more mild around here.

The real opposition group that exist is either broken (the Church, and CD-V, the supposedly traditionalist party), or focused on something else (the North/South divide is THE hot topic - yes, we want to divide a country around the size of New York. Don't ask.)
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:48 pm

Can US Citizens go to Belgium to get euthanized? Just curious~ (Planning ahead of time, since all of my family has died before hitting 70 and of cancer)
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Sagara » Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:49 pm

I've never had the situation happen close to me, thank God o_O
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:51 pm

Doesn't Oregon have a "death with dignity" law?
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:54 pm

Hmm... ok *adds Oregon to states to visit*

Nah, seriously... my family has lemon genes... we came broken from factory... aunt with breast cancer, mom with cervical cancer, uncle with brain tumor, my zeyde (grandpa) with colon cancer, grandma with lung cancer (nonsmoker)

I'm betting I'll get either prostate, leukemia, osteomyeloma or stomach cancer.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby bldavis » Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:13 pm

Fridmarr wrote:Doesn't Oregon have a "death with dignity" law?

yes, unless something changed that i missed living here for the past 25+ years
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:18 pm

I believe that we (Washington) have one too. Though it's hard to keep it straight as this stuff tends to make several appearances on the ballot.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:34 am

I know this is old: “If your science gives you a result that you don't like, pass a law saying that the result is illegal. Problem solved.”
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Amirya » Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:05 pm

Yes, Oregon does have death with dignity, but it's not a matter of just packing a bag for a last visit. I don't have all the details on hand, but I do know you do have to have established residency before you can even be considered.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:23 pm

Ok, Belgium it is then.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby bldavis » Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:11 pm

lol i was gonna say are you sure you want to move here just for that?
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:56 pm

Dantriges wrote:Pretty much, IMO most western democracies have changed into oligarchies some time ago.
That's probably true, it certainly seems that it is in the US. Isn't that a bad thing though? In a world with technological advances like blogging, social media, crowd sourcing etc. that ought to be diminishing, but it isn't.

Given our broader political context and the free market system that it sits on, that result is the inevitable outcome of concentrating more power at the federal level. The weird thing is that culturally there's been a shift here. I'm old enough to remember when folks felt the same way about big gov't as they do about big business, and for good reason. These days big gov't is preached like it's not only the best solution for everything but the only solution. You can see great examples of that in this thread. The ultimate irony there is that it's even touted as the solution to this very problem which in reality it only exacerbates.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fivelives » Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:10 pm

Oregon, Montana and Washington require 6 months of residency and signed affidavits from doctors declaring you terminal within 6 months (so you have to plan ahead - when you've only got a year left, that's when you move. Or get residency established somehow at least) as part of their right to die laws. They also have to pronounce you of sound mind.
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