Politics (formerly Election 2012)

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:07 am

KysenMurrin wrote:I was surprised I wasn't further left economically. I think the number of questions is a bit limited on this quiz, really.


Actually I'm surprised I came way to the left on economic issues, and rather central on social issues...

I kind of blame the fact there's no Neutral answer on that. Why can't I be "meh" on some issues/answers? why do I have to pick sides?
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Torquemada » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:23 am

Brekkie wrote:That attitude is basically what I associate with fiscal conservatism. And I quite frankly do not understand it. It does not make sense to me. It does not seem internally consistent, or coherently rational. It feels to me more like naive, folksy oversimplifications and wishful thinking than a serious political stance.

If I had access to Youtube at the moment, I would link a bit by Penn Gillette where he explains that he's opposed to the idea of publicly funded libraries in principle, but that he doesn't think they should be shut down tomorrow, or even ever. He accepts that people want them, that they're implemented, and that it isn't worth fighting over. I feel similarly on a variety of social issues. There was a point in time where the people were not beholden to the government for nearly as many issues as they do today. When you start letting the government make those decisions, it has to do so for what is perceived as the greater good, or at least the will of the masses of the voting electorate.

Brekkie wrote:At the end of the day, things cost money. Additionally, there is nothing inherently bad about managed debt. That is the disconnect I have with fiscal conservatism. Progressives don't want to be profligate purely for its own sake, we want minimal taxes just as much as the next person. But ultimately at some point you have to pay the bills and acknowledge reality.

And this is where you and I diverge. I agree that there are things that need to be managed. But I strongly disagree that there aren't many in BOTH parties in leadership who are guilty of spending for spending's sake, whether it's kickbacks to lobbyists, unions, defense contractors, or pork barrel logrolling to their home districts. The New Deal and the Great Society have done a great job of inculcating people to the government teat, depending on it for their answers. I agree that we have to pay the bills. The problem is that at this point we aren't, and even the tax proposed on the wealthy doesn't fix it. Ultimately everyone has to pay more either through higher taxes, lower spending on programs, or both, but you're right that no one wants to.

Brekkie wrote:So what is left? Not a whole lot.
This is the ugly truth about fiscal conservative ranting about our "big government" and profiligate ways. The vast majority of the budget is made up of things the overwhelming majority of Americans support and do not want cut. If you ask Americans whether we should cut spending they answer yes, but if you name programs to reduce or eliminate they say no to every single one. The fact is that welfare queens, Big Bird, and Planned Parenthood are simply such miniscule amounts of money as to be not even worth discussing in any serious debate over spending. Yet conservative politicians have been forced to pretend that major cuts can be accomplished on the back of this smokescreen, knowing that even their own constituents would not support the dismantlement of the New Deal.

Agreed. People want it both ways, and they've been told for at least 3 generations that they should get it. The fact that we're calling millions and billions quibbling small change is a sign of the gravity of the situation. In the end entitlements have to be cut or remanaged or privatized. We've been hearing for years that Medicare and Social Security aren't solvent, and no one has done anything significant to affect that in my lifetime.

Brekkie wrote:Fiscal conservativism sounds really great, but under scrutiny holds nothing original not already encompassed by progressive ideas, while at the same time laboring under a false view of reality that we can somehow have our cake and eat it too through generous social programs, pensions, and a big military, while simultaneously paying low taxes.

Perhaps it's time to progressively step away a bit from government dependence. Maybe a step at a time, gradually, teaching people to be responsible for their own lives. It's just a thought, and it certainly hasn't been done in the last 60 years.

...

I didn't include your original anecdote with your Gunny, I do think the private sector should be expected to police up their mess. I am not an environmentalist, but one of the tennets of conservatism is CONSERVATION. It is in the best interests of corporations to maintain the environment and act as good stewards, and we've already seen this in industries such as timber. If the people want to enact burdening legislation, I suggest you take a look at the great impact it's had in California in improving the economy, keeping local governments solvent, and improving the air quality in L.A.

That doesn't mean corporations should get a free pass. We as citizens and consumers should be voting with our buying power to enforce ethical practices that involve protecting what we care about as a society. If we don't, it's our own stupidity and I sincerely question how much protection we deserve from our own ignorance.

I lived for two years in South Korea, and I saw an incredibly capitalist country that that carefully manages and takes care of its environment and resources without overly burdening industry. It can be done. It is being done elsewhere.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Cogglamp » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:47 am

Torquemada wrote:So, apparently by the standards of this group, I'm the resident arch-conservative. Got it. =)


Not so fast!

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Torquemada wrote:I didn't include your original anecdote with your Gunny, I do think the private sector should be expected to police up their mess. I am not an environmentalist, but one of the tennets of conservatism is CONSERVATION. It is in the best interests of corporations to maintain the environment and act as good stewards, and we've already seen this in industries such as timber. If the people want to enact burdening legislation, I suggest you take a look at the great impact it's had in California in improving the economy, keeping local governments solvent, and improving the air quality in L.A.



You're seeing this extensively in eco-tourism and the push for cap-and-trade or carbon taxes as well. Long term greed isn't a bad thing so long as you've effectively priced in all the inputs, which admittedly corporations have done a poor job at since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Nooska » Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:03 am

I disagree that "almost everyone is a socialist". The only ones on the current chart that are far enough left to be able to say so are myself, Paxen, Klaud and Ami, and the last 2 are more in what would be "socialdemocratic" in my opinion.
The really fun thing is that Toque and Cogg, the only ones to the right of the center currently, are still far left of Barack Obama - oh and all of us are on the libertarian side of the up/down axis - where Obama is solidly in the blue square (Rightwing/authoritarian).


And; New link since we moved to a new page;
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Torquemada » Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:11 am

Nooska wrote:I disagree that "almost everyone is a socialist". The only ones on the current chart that are far enough left to be able to say so are myself, Paxen, Klaud and Ami, and the last 2 are more in what would be "socialdemocratic" in my opinion.
The really fun thing is that Toque and Cogg, the only ones to the right of the center currently, are still far left of Barack Obama - oh and all of us are on the libertarian side of the up/down axis - where Obama is solidly in the blue square (Rightwing/authoritarian).


And; New link since we moved to a new page;
Maintankadin Political Crowd Chart


I would agree with the overall assessment that Obama and Romney were very close, with Romney more economically right-wing. I think I would disagree that either is as far right on the spectrum as that site designates. We can argue campaign promises versus policy, or "compromise" to accomplish his agenda, but I would assert that his current tax platform, his spending platform for the last 4+ years, and the oral arguments presented to the Supreme Court in favor of the ACA put him at the minimum a centrist, if not over with y'all. That doesn't mean he hasn't tempered his stances to get votes through Congress. That's what progressives do: achieve incremental change. Both parties do it.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Nooska » Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:21 am

Aye, I agree with that, being apolitician myself. You have to differentiate between "I would do this if I could make things like I wanted" and "I'll do this because this is the way I can make things a little better" (better being subjective).

I can't actually remember what the ratings ar based on - as in, whethe rthey are actual actions or just promises.
I know the european governments are based on actions - thats also really the only way to rate a government in a parliamentary system that means the government, by definition, do not have a majority against them, very little compromise going on oustide coalition governments.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Torquemada » Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:27 am

Nooska wrote:Aye, I agree with that, being apolitician myself. You have to differentiate between "I would do this if I could make things like I wanted" and "I'll do this because this is the way I can make things a little better" (better being subjective).

I can't actually remember what the ratings ar based on - as in, whethe rthey are actual actions or just promises.
I know the european governments are based on actions - thats also really the only way to rate a government in a parliamentary system that means the government, by definition, do not have a majority against them, very little compromise going on oustide coalition governments.


I assume you were refering to this:
http://www.politicalcompass.org/uselection2012
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Flex » Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:07 am

pork barrel logrolling to their home districts


One good thing about Pork Barrel politics is that it employees people to build the pork barrel project.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby KysenMurrin » Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:31 pm

Nooska wrote:I disagree that "almost everyone is a socialist".

I was using the term pretty loosely, I guess. I'd certainly place myself under that term, as a democratic socialist (socialist democracy is still socialist). The US tends to treat it like it's a dirty word, or at least one that only refers to the extreme left. An oversimplified version of how I'd see that chart is (and this is obviously more of a leaning than actual label):
Green - Socialist
Red - Communist (not using the strict definition, but how it's generally been seen in practice)
Purple - Libertarian (as the term seems to be used in US politics)
I can't quite think of an easy term to describe the authoritarian yet free-market Blue block (given the state of current western politics, perhaps "centrist" :P).

Funny to look at how the mainstream western politicians are mainly lumped into the blue block on the site's chart, completely opposite to our numbers.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby bldavis » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:29 pm

i also find it humorous that as much arguing and such that goes on, we are all fairly close
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Nooska » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:44 pm

@Torquemada; yeah thats the one I was referring to.

As a very rough outline, I'll agree to the lables for the red, green and purple blocks you've written up Kysen, with of course the distance from each being relative and smaller increments towards the lines being more interesting than larger increments further from the lines. (I jsut wonder why I get placed so relatively high on up/down axis, unless its the "anti business" ideas (like regulation for businesses in case of environmental standards etc).

Also, we argue so much because we are pretty close (relatively speaking) on the major things, its the minutiae we get divided on, and because its in all fairness minor issues (ideologywise) its all the more frustrating that X or Y won't just do things my way - if I were to venture a guess.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby bldavis » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:49 pm

thats true, if we were farther apart on the major things, we wouldnt even discuss it i bet....oh we would be like congress!
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Paxen » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:32 pm

Nooska wrote:(I jsut wonder why I get placed so relatively high on up/down axis, unless its the "anti business" ideas (like regulation for businesses in case of environmental standards etc).


I doubt it's that. I can't remember exactly what I answered, but I probably tripped every "anti-business" detector they have. I'd guess that that question pulls you to the left, not upwards.

I just retook it, and there are a lot of questions about morality, sex and religion. Those are the ones that pull me towards libertarian.

I suggest "Social Conservative" for the blue region - it looks like it places everybody who wants freedom for corporations and strict moral obligations for everybody else in that region.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:15 pm

Flex wrote:
pork barrel logrolling to their home districts


One good thing about Pork Barrel politics is that it employees people to build the pork barrel project.

But at significant cost.  If it's pork barrel it's either not building infrastructure or at least not infrastructure that will be reasonably utilized.  The result is a net loss of jobs, overall.  The money for that project is taken from the people or it's borrowed, taking money causes contraction, borrowing money causes interest payments, dramatically increasing the cost and causing contraction.

Pork barrell spending is useful really as a tool to prop up a politician in a district that needs the help.  Those folks feel the small positive impact and cheerfully vote for their incumbent but the costs are ultimately felt nationwide.

Brekkie, along with some of Torque's comments, I'd add that everything isn't either or.  It's not a difference between a federally mandated retirement program vs nothing, or welfare programs vs the poor dieing in the streets.  There are degrees to the level of gov't involvement and degrees to the portions that can be privatized.  Another big thing is that the level (local/state/fed) of government is very important.  Right now, we tend to throw everything at the federal level, often with poor results.  On top of our free market which allows money to flow freely to government, federalizing everything creates clear incentive for abuse and as we concentrate power at the level the abuse becomes more frequent and more painful.  It also degrades accountability significantly making it much more easy to hide and more difficult to root out.

I don't think defense spending is considered sacrosanct among fiscal conservatives, it's certainly not among libertarians.  A fair portion of that group is borderline isolationist. 

Social security has reached a point where folks retiring today are likely to have paid more in than they will get out.  For the rich, it's long been that way, but now it's that way for the average joe, and it's only getting worse, and that model assumes it will remain solvent, which we know it will not without significant changes, either increases in the payroll tax, further reductions in payouts, or an increase in retirement age.  We are likely to see all of the above given our ages.  It's not, by any stretch of the imagination, an even decently designed system.  That doesn't mean we should necessarily throw it out, or do away with the concept, but certainly there's room for debate on how produce a solvent retirement system that benefits the people beyond a couple of generations.  

We spend billions on a farm bill that is downright harmful.  It's harmful to the environment, it's harmful to our public health, who knows what the final dollar cost is.  It incentivizes the worst practices and the worst crops, but it certainly benefited certain politicians in those areas.  Some of our energy policy is the same thing and intertwined. 

We don't really need a federal dept. of education, aside maybe from managing schools on military bases and territories.  Our state and local government's can do a much better job and they are much more agile and accountable.  Instead of hiring several administrators whose sole job is to figure out how to apply for federal grants and comply with federal mandates, maybe they can invest in their kids/faculty.

I could go on but I'm running out of time.  In short, I'm just getting worn out of having my position characterized incorrectly and then dismissed.  I don't want poor people nor minorities to suffer.  I don't want anarchy or the abolition of basic government services. I want a reduction in corruption, more effective use of tax payer dollars, and more accountability.  All things that I think are inevitible weaknesses of having a handful of people having such power over 300,000,000 others.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Nooska » Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:32 pm

Paxen wrote:
Nooska wrote:(I jsut wonder why I get placed so relatively high on up/down axis, unless its the "anti business" ideas (like regulation for businesses in case of environmental standards etc).


I doubt it's that. I can't remember exactly what I answered, but I probably tripped every "anti-business" detector they have. I'd guess that that question pulls you to the left, not upwards.

I just retook it, and there are a lot of questions about morality, sex and religion. Those are the ones that pull me towards libertarian.

I suggest "Social Conservative" for the blue region - it looks like it places everybody who wants freedom for corporations and strict moral obligations for everybody else in that region.

Thats what I would expect too, "anti-business" pulling you left. On the morality, sex and religion, they are whats pulling me as far down as I am, I am sure - the only question which I think could be pulling me up is that I don't "strongly disagree" with the "[wives/women] can have a career, but their first duty is to be homemakers" - and thats because the question trips me up as there is no male counterpart, and I think that the "duty" of everyone is to take care of themselves, their spouse and their children first (i.e. if the question was gender neutral or there was a male counterpart I would agree with it/both of them).

Heh... Obama is a social conservative by that standard btw - I think we need another label, as not only is both Obama and Romney squarely in the blue, so is almost all governments in europe, even the center/left ones - also "social conservative" is probably more a US thing than a european thing.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Aubade » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:37 am

Grats on 100 pages of politics! Woo
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Sagara » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:49 am

Meanwhile, in Belgium, Nationalist leader equates homosexuality to a "philosophical or political conviction or support for a trade union or a sports club".

A bit weird - despite all my annoyance at the man, he's a brilliant politician, so that kind of faux pas is surprising.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Dantriges » Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:57 am

Seems more like he chose his words badly.

So you are not allowed to wear clothing that indicates your sexuality as your customers at the public office don´t need to know that. It has nothing to do with your actual job as a civil servant, providing services to the public. So if you do, you turn your sexuality into a political, philosophical etc. statement.

And well if gays want to be treated like everyone else perhaps it´s a good idea not to flaunt your sexuality in public. Hetero people don´t run around with T-shirts like "I have an active sexlife" "Looking for partner" or "One Night Stand Man" in the office either. Or BDSM people with "I spank my wife/husband and she/he likes it."

And well he seems to want the city appear as neutral or rather "We don´t care, you are a citizen with equal rights."

Or could be another reason. He said that he fights for equal rights for gays and he is in a public office. Could be that he doesn´t want to that people think he uses his position as a mayor to show his agenda via city services. Would appear like he uses public resources/places for his politics.

And well we slowly aproach the point I hope, that gender, sexuality etc aren´t such a big issue anymore at least in some countries. So why should you be allowed to make statements about your sexuality if it´s not a big deal anymore or at least it shouldn´t be. You don´t need to tell everyone coming to your counter what you do in your bedroom. My reaction would be "So you are into same sex relationships, so what, I want whatever I came for."

But wel, I am not a belgian, I could be mistaken and it is a big issue in your country, but still seems to me, a civil service sounter is not a good battleground to pick this fight. Especially if it can damage a pro gay activist, appearing as someone who abuses public resources to further his agenda. Or is his pro gay statement a lie?
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Sagara » Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:34 am

Well, thing is, homosexuality is basically a non-issue. Our current Prime Minister is openly gay, and actually hasn't said a word about it in a decade or so. Where Bart's party is concerned, N-VA is not anti-gay. In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to find an anti-gay party in Belgium.

And that's the wierd thing - it's a non-issue that suddenly becomes an issue for some reason no-one can fathom. As you said, if it's so unimportant, why bother comment on, of all things, *rainbow* T-shirts alongside the Muslim veil and nationalistic slogans? Especially in a country and a city where religious and nationalistic frictions are pretty high.

Sounds a lot like a big misstep. Not that I'll be crying rivers for him, as his base is built on the concept that I'm some kind of parasite that comes to eat at *his* dinner plate.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Shoju » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:02 am

Klaudandus wrote:http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/02/michigan-tea-partier-charter-schools-ethnically-challenged-families
Kids aren't going to charter schools if they're "A" students. They go to charter schools because they're failing students and, by and large, the charter schools have a higher percentage of poor families, ethnically challenged families…

I guess.... your ethnicity handicap is inversely proportional to the melanin in your skin...



This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard.

"Kids aren't going to charter schools if they're "A" students. They go to charter schools because they're failing students and, by and large, the charter schools have a higher percentage of poor families, ethnically challenged families…"


Really? My kids go to a charter school. I wouldn't say any of them are/were "failing students". In fact, I'd say that they are pretty smart. You know, I don't know too many kids who are moved from 1st to 2nd grade after less than 9 weeks, or that are given the chance to attend higher grade levels towards the end of the year to keep them stimulated because they are failing.

They keep opening their mouths and showing the massive disconnect that they have with the rest of society.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:09 am

Was that aimed at me or at him?
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Amirya » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:00 am

Him, not you.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Shoju » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:39 am

Klaudandus wrote:Was that aimed at me or at him?


You should know me better than to have to question that.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:47 am

Shoju wrote:
Klaudandus wrote:Was that aimed at me or at him?


You should know me better than to have to question that.


Point there. its just that you quoted me, then you quoted the quote, which I had quoted already in my first post.... kinda got confused, plus every now and then you get hit with friendly fire =P
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Shoju » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:55 pm

Klaudandus wrote:
Shoju wrote:
Klaudandus wrote:Was that aimed at me or at him?


You should know me better than to have to question that.


Point there. its just that you quoted me, then you quoted the quote, which I had quoted already in my first post.... kinda got confused, plus every now and then you get hit with friendly fire =P



I knew that it was a ways back, so I wanted to make sure I referenced, so I quoted your post.

Then I quoted what I was talking about.

I'm trying to be a nice guy and not be such a cantankerous pain in the ass.
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