The Politics Thread (PLAY NICELY!)

Discussion in 'Unrelated Discussion' started by stuart98, November 11, 2015.

  1. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    I like how you sometimes show up and provide reasonable arguments and viewpoints.

    I'd say it is even more like that. Things like support money for students, free education, children support money, etc are paid to lots of people who are in no direct emergency situation. It's much more than just a safety net, it's more like a foundation to build your life on. That includes a safety net, but many people get all sorts of social services that they could, if they had to, do without. It just makes their life simpler and supports good things. Like education or having children. These social services are not an insurance. They are more like an investment by the state into its citizens.

    Random side question: Do US citizens get support money for having children? Or is that also one of these social things I think of us normal that turn out to be not normal in the US?

    I'd question this. Heavily. Various visualizations make one go "wtf" about this.

    [​IMG]
    src

    If you'd take half of the stuff those 1% owns and distribute it over the lower groups you'd suddenly have no more poverty and the rich people would still have waaaay more than any human ever needs. In reality it's not as simple as repainting a map. But still, not enough money to go around?

    According to wikipedia:
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  2. walmartdialup

    walmartdialup Active Member

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    Thank you. Its nice to have an avenue to discuss these issues, especially with other well rounded people from different perspectives. In this thread though, I feel as though there is alot of misunderstanding on the USA and its largely because its a big country and every state is different. The new president may take all the spot light, but there is alot more going on beyond his twitter comments.

    To answer your question:

    Within the USA, there are various state and federal aid programs that assist with the day to day of citizens. The big difference is how each State constructs these programs to accomodate the local population. For example, there may not be a free university education, but an average student in certain states can receive federal, state, a few local scholarships, and come away with zero debt (you have to commute though).

    Typically though, aid for social things comes down to tax credits and everything revolves around taxes. For low to moderate wage earners, they have to apply for an Earned Income Tax Credit. As for children, a family within a certain income bracket can receive a 1000$ tax credit per child.

    This aspect gets technical, so I found a cute table to give you a general idea of the amount of money. (NOTE: this does not include the 1000$ child tax credit).

    [​IMG]


    Its not a ton, but many families do great with this type of money.



    Interesting take on the 760,000$ per family argument. Giving every family that type of money would give them a house, put everyone through college, wipe away all outstanding debt and have an excellent start on saving for retirement. A third of that money would put everyone in a better position. Heck, raising everyone's wage by 5$/hour would make every american happier.

    As for the income gap, its difficult to say whether its right or wrong. Its a tricky subject because many "billionares" were merely founders of public corporations that are some of the most valued. To name a few:

    Bill Gate: Microsoft
    Gordon Moore: Intel
    James Simons: Renaissance Technology (Private Company)
    Elon Musk: Tesla & SpaceX.
    Warren Buffet: Buffet Empire.
    DJ Trump: Trump Steaks

    There are plenty more, but most people feel that they did something substantial within society. Based upon the government contracts given to many of these corporations, I'd say this is where they received most of their money.

    Elon Musk wouldnt be a billionaire if it hadnt been for NASA outsourcing their work to SpaceX. Bill Gates wouldnt be where he was today if the government didnt use Microsoft products. Its not the Bill Gates or Elon Musk's fault that the government chose Microsoft and SpaceX services over FOSS and NASA for normal operations.

    So, what am I trying to say? Well, the numbers are inflated because their value is based upon shares they own of a corporation. The said corporations are merely a secure investment of maintaining wealth.

    Thus, as you may begin to wonder, why not tax the corporations? Its a difficult to answer this question because all fingers point to taxing them. They lobby and do all sorts of things that could be perceived as immoral, but there are other issues associated with the problem. Ultimately, it comes down to taxes. The corporations we want to tax, meaning the richest, are either "State Sponsored" corporations, like Lockheed Martin and L3 Technologies, or a global corporation that can pack up and leave in 5-10 years. I guess you could tax them, but their economic impact could be perceived a net positive.

    To drive my point even further, the TARP fund came out to bail these corporations because they are perceived as an extension of the government. Its unfortunate the people didnt get the same treatment during in 2007.

    Its not all doom though. The average American is able to access a plethora of cheap goods and affordable real estate. Americans are able to borrow and consume money most people in the world could only dream of doing. In america, alot of our social policies revolve around our ability to have access to capital on the spot. Americans HATE HATE HATE taxes, so a loan is the best compromise.

    Finding a job to pay for it is another matter all together...

    To summarize, many Americans would rather take a loan out than pay a tax. The US government on the federal level is a manifestation of this through its various methods of pseudo-privatization.
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  3. mered4

    mered4 Post Master General

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    Dreaming? This isn't dreaming. This is history. I made a statement and in the year or so since I realized how true it was, not a single situation has arisen that has proven it wrong. Don't believe me? Alright. Then tell me why you think I am wrong instead of avoiding the issue altogether. If you don't think it's true, prove it wrong. If it's really as radical as you say it is, it shouldn't be that difficult.
    Interesting. So you claim that A) Standard Oil was a harmful coercive monopoly and B) the oil market would have produced lower prices if Standard Oil was divided up into smaller companies or never existed at all.
    You have no idea HOW this would happen, and apparently do not wish to speculate as such. You provide zero proof that this is true, while I have provided statistics indicating the rapid drop in price over a thirty year period that directly correlates to the rise in Standard Oil's market share. You do not deny this, and instead claim that my logic is flawed, because YOU can't drum up a reasonable counter-argument.

    I gave you a logical statement. It was fairly simple. Let me recap:

    Standard Oil was an efficiency monopoly. It bought out competitors and efficiently distributed oil to customers in order to keep their business and increase their market share.
    Comcast is a localized coercive monopoly. It bought out competitors and stifles new competition by sponsoring government regulation and legislation that benefit their status quo.

    Logically, then, the problem does not reside with the variable that stayed the EXACT SAME in both situations. The problem lies with the differences between the two. THIS MEANS that your statement from earlier (buying out competitors is one of the flaws with the free market) is false.

    Standard Oil was successful because John D Rockefeller was in it to refine and distribute oil in the best possible fashion for the best profit possible. In doing so, he created a company that benefited the entire nation of America, and paved the way for further growth in the marketplace for years to come. And he did it by being selfish.

    You have no idea what you stand for. You have no principles. You have no logical reasoning.
    According to https://data.oecd.org/gga/general-government-deficit.htm#indicator-chart, germany ran a deficit in 2016 equal to .27% of it's GDP.
    I don't have a hard time believing it to be possible, I'm not a moron who ignores facts presented from a legitimate source. Unlike you, I don't ignore basic reasoning and essential economic terminology.
    And I really would love if you didn't misconstrue my EU bashing as some twisted love for the current state of the American government system. It's all broken as hell right now and it's only going to get worse unless the idea of Robin Hood stops being heroic.
    Last edited: September 12, 2017
  4. Gorbles

    Gorbles Post Master General

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    Asking someone to prove a negative is poor logic at the best of times. To insist such without providing a shred of evidence for your own claims and statements is straight up silly :)

    You made the statement. You back it up. That's how "making a claim" works.

    I mean, obviously not in your reality, but in the real world that's what "supporting evidence" means.
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  5. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    Especially since it is a story from so long ago I am sceptical. Inbetween then and now the US had a cold war that included anti socialistic propaganda. How sure you can even be the story of Standard Oil has not been rewritten at some point?

    That is not how logic works, as I and Gorbles have pointed out the burden of proof for the claim "the oil price could not have been lower, because Standard Oil was perfect" is yours.

    But well, I actually can provide a counter example. Standard Oil was making a profit right?
    So if they had cut their profit in half and used that money to reduce the oil price further the oil price would have been lower.

    Proof by example: It would have been possible to provide a lower oil price.

    qed ;)


    I don't have to, because I don't say that I know for certain they were imperfect. So I am not really making any claims at all. But you are making claims "they were perfect". So you better prove that claim. And proving a claim like that is done by systematically ruling out all possible ways for Standard Oil to be imperfect. Issue is that means you need a way to imagine all possible ways. Which is hard. Thus the huge price money on NP vs P.

    See my proof above why those statistics are completely useless as a proof for anything.
    Yeah they did okay I guess based on the statistics. But "here is how they did good" is not a proof for "they did as good as you can possible do".

    Because it is flawed.

    But how do you prove that Standard Oil had not the means to screw over people just like Comcast? They were the only provide of oil and had lots of money. Don't you see the giant potential for massive abuse there?

    But yes you do. You ignore pretty basic rules about the burden of proof.

    That may be a good explanation why I am having a hard time to understand American economical behavior as a whole.
    I've been taught since I can walk that loans are evil and you never should take any at all, they will screw you over.
    The only exception may be buying a house, but even then be really really careful.
    Last edited: September 12, 2017
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  6. tatsujb

    tatsujb Post Master General

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    but surely that's fuckking yourself in the butt ?

    this hate is irrational, emotion-driven. Speeches lead to it.

    And no researches or studies were undertaken to confirm it. whereas there's plenty of studies and research to prove that a tax is the better deal.

    but even mr Stooge can understand that one has a exponential self-increase X time X level of debt wheras the tax is just a subtraction of the cut that's going to go to the state employees.

    obviously there's a social comment on that cut specifically (especially here in europe since we went the tax route) but the debate can never reach a comparison since one of the two options can only ever evolve within a whole (so 100% max (and by then us europeans would consider it a dictatorship and it would be guerrilla-time)) where the other is all about multiples and exponentials of that whole.

    doesn't there need to be a widespread education on the matter in the U.S.?

    seems like a lack thereof is at fault.
    Last edited: September 12, 2017
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  7. mered4

    mered4 Post Master General

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    You show me evidence that the story was different than what I stated and researched and I'll stop laughing.
    Standard Oil wasn't perfect - it was the most efficient option at the time. You can't force people to be competitive with regulations and laws - they provide their own incentive. JD Rockefeller wanted to make a profit and to expand his business, and he did so in the most efficient way he knew. As it turns out, he was quite good at it. In fact, he was so good at it, that people built successful oil refinery companies JUST TO SELL TO HIM. One guy, David P. Reighard, built three oil refinery companies and sold them to JDR because it was such good business.

    Except you completely forgot what profit actually is.
    Profit isn't an excess charge for the greedy capitalists. It doesn't exist to pad the pockets of the executives. Profit exists to ensure the growth of the company, and give it the financial flexibility to weather bad economic situations. If Standard Oil had cut their prices to ensure their profit margin dropped by 50%, they would stagnate and be outpaced by more profitable companies. Yes, the price would have temporarily dropped below what it was at the time, but Standard Oil would quickly go out of business, and the prices would rise much, much higher.

    On another, completely related note: prices are determined by the laws of supply and demand. Artificially lowering the price without also increasing the supply would lead to shortages. If Standard was able to increase production to meet this demand, their profits would fall lower and lower, until they either stabilized and stagnated, or until they dropped into the red and began closing refineries to save the business.
    I never stated that Standard oil was perfect. I said the free market system is perfect. I used Standard Oil as an example to disprove your claim that buying out competitors in the market is one of the flaws in the free market.
    No, Colin. Just no. You logically cannot use the excuse that "I must be right" in order to rationalize your opinion. You think the oil market of the time can do better? Fine. Show me the proof. I've got the proof that Standard did their job more efficiently than the government or any competitor could at the time. That means they did as "good as you can possibly do".
    I can't hear you over the sound of your ignorant socialist bullcrap
    First, they weren't the only provider of refined oil. They had a 90% market share. There was a host of smaller, localized competitors.
    Second, answer me this: Who would you rather be in charge, the man who has spent his entire life building a business, or the elected lawyer who thinks he can do a better job?

    Another angle: What abuse would you be referring to on the part of Standard Oil? Perhaps price increases to raise profit margins? That seems fairly ridiculous - their competitors would eat them alive in the open market, drastically decreasing their market share. To make things worse, the price of oil for everyone would be driven higher because the smaller competitors wouldn't have the supply to meet the demand that Standard Oil had previously met. It wouldn't take long, however for their newfound success to give them the means to grow to meet this demand.
    No, that's not it. Perhaps they would spend the money on lobbyists and votes in Congress? But to what end? Perhaps to out regulate their competition and drive them out of business. BUT WAIT you say - isn't that what Comcast is doing?! OH MY GOD! What if - government regulation is the problem?!

    But seriously, what abuse? What could they possibly do within the confines of the free market that abuses customers? Remember, these customers volunteer their money and time to buy oil from Standard Oil. Standard cannot force these customers to buy their oil.
    And you ignore the evidence all around you that the socialist system of government is a hypocrisy and a lie. The entire philosophy relies on the ignorance of the people to stay in power.
  8. Gorbles

    Gorbles Post Master General

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    What's that?

    Still no supporting evidence?

    My gosh. My goodness. I am surprised. Shocked, even.
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  9. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    No it does not. It shows they did good, but not "as good as you can possibly do". Those are two entirely different things and if you were inclined at all to reason you'd realize this.

    You just have no idea at all what it means to prove something "can't be any better, ever". It's much harder than you showing an example of it being good. You are trying to prove a "for all" with an "exists". Does not work. Zero points. Exam failed.

    I give up on trying to teach you reason, I think I'll rather play chess with a pigeon.
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  10. thetrophysystem

    thetrophysystem Post Master General

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    To be fair, a lot of what's being done now I'd give a 4/10, like the world hasn't imploded, but it's neither a sustainable model nor a successful model, but I suppose while incarceration is at an all time high at least people aren't dying as quickly as the Dark Ages.

    Could things be done better? Well, could we have created green energy yet? Maybe. Could we not have created electronics at all yet? Very possibly. I'd give that more like an 8/10, they had room to do better but by golly they did better than any of us here would have done at improving technology for instance.

    As far as politics in context, I don't think Europe is doing a poor job, nor would they vastly improve if they suddenly became more Liaise-Faire capitalist, there is a huge chance it'd not work for them because it's not their schtick and trying to emulate it would only cause them to decline.

    This is why we have localized governments instead of a global government. It's the only saving grace of an electoral college (also room for improvement there). It's only fair to allow sections of the world to govern in a manner that works for them.

    North Korea hasn't been toppled for governing terribad, and they're hardly good for their people, and they screw around threatening the rest of the world while they're at it. Still should only support them, if they want reform as a local people all their own. Same even with the Middle East, but they too better learn, that causing deaths in other nation is precisely how you have a war declared, get toppled, and lose your autonomy.
  11. tatsujb

    tatsujb Post Master General

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    Me, I'd give the world a 5/7.

    what is this? rating the state of the world on a 10 scale? is this where we're at?
  12. Gorbles

    Gorbles Post Master General

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    I dunno, World 5 - 7 has a helluva platform bit near Mario's castle.
  13. tatsujb

    tatsujb Post Master General

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    the half-to-end part n this one is really good in it's explanation of why the hurricane disaster and subsequent reinforcement and help for Texan and Floridian home-owners is not panning out so well :


    also heck this deserves to be here rather than in series
    Latest Rick & Morty episode (which features heavy critique of current events) analysis :
    Last edited: September 13, 2017
  14. tatsujb

    tatsujb Post Master General

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    Macron and the media : tell me if this isn't reminiscent of something to you :
    except he's clever : he doesn't care about lying to the whole of France : he only wants to lie to his audience and at least have that work.
    and it does. as a result his image abroad is flawless
    (You do speak pictures right ?)
    http://magique-france.fr/macron-a-toulouse-le-bain-de-foule-pretendu-etait-bidon
    this is macron in my hometown of toulouse where he was beat by mélenchon (and then won in a landslide against LePen). forgets leftist context here in explaining why he won against lepen in toulouse and assumes it's himself.
    He comes to toulouse expecting a grand ovation and hurrah. gets an airport and highway strike instead and when he finally makes it to the plaza there's noone.

    But every single outlet STILL uses the term "bain de foule" : crowd bath. look at the images in the articles and the terms used (much original. so independent) and then look at the top down picture.

    This plaza BTW (a plaza you can't really avoid going through if you're going from A to B anywhere near the center) is always full of people ...just walking. and when there's a concert or a market or an leisure activity or anything else set up it's full up with people.

    I showed you the Mélenchon meeting video which had to take place in La Prairie des filtres the biggest flat surface in town center and yet it was so full most people couldn't make it in and had to watch from the ramparts or at home
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  15. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    So does Macron himself, when asked, claim there were a million people there? xD
  16. walmartdialup

    walmartdialup Active Member

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    After the crash, there is now a mandate in highschool requiring everyone to take a home finance course which describes the impact of a house, university, credit card and car loan.


    Taxes may be more cost effective as a whole, but america is BIG; Its vague, but I can't emphasize this enough; its really a problem.

    In situations where there is a potential for a service to be taxed, many Americans are skeptical that government can achieve its function and look to personal means of financing, like loans, to solve their problems.

    An excellent example is transportation. America could easily adopt a state of the art mass transportation system as seen in countries like Japan, but the people don't want to because of the taxes involved with building, operating, and maintaining the infrastructure. Instead, they take out a car loan.

    Another more American specific example:

    New Jersey is arguably one of the most "progressive" states in terms of social services and boasts some of the top public schools in the country. It costs a lot in taxes and its worth it to some extent because people all over the country move into the state...

    However, after twenty years, people leave their place and move to states like North and South Carolina. People like New Jersey, but they can't stay there. When property taxes are in the vicinity of 12,000$/year just to own a home, people can no longer justify this expense after their kids go off to college out of state. Saving that 10,000$ in property taxes is an enticing argument when you don't need the services offered by the state.

    On the west coast, Californians will likely flock to Texas, Idaho.... maybe Nevada? Wyoming if you have enough money to build your own cabin retreat... You can't avoid it...

    This is could be a reason as to why taxes are not beneficial; people can easily avoid them through competition between states.

    I am sure there is something like state competition within individual European countries, but its pretty important in the American picture.

    Taxes only work with a stable population of people ready to pay for them. People in the US can and do pack up and move at any instant.

    "White flight" is an appropriate term in this instant.

    Unlike social services, A loan however will ALWAYS be there when you need it. With proper fiscal planning, a loan shouldn't be as intimidating as it often appears.

    Just make sure you have a job.... This is why trump got elected... Fix the job problem and you make America "great" again.
  17. tatsujb

    tatsujb Post Master General

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    that's the point he doesn't stoop that low and right now it'd be great if we could ask him anything or if he had the habit of speaking his mind on twitter cuz none of us deserve to know what he thinks according to him.

    no interviews that aren't strictly about licking his balls. otherwise he's entirely detached from the world. we never know were he is or what he's doing.

    his public appearances have been incredibly sparse before this mini tour-de-france. (to not say there were simply none)

    I'm starting to think that with the whole of the mainstream media in his pocket, we have absolutely no tools (these few independent websites aren't enough) to take macron down should he turn into a tyrant.


    I've made the experience in this very forum myself : Noone will believe you because of the echoes THEY get.
    Last edited: September 14, 2017
  18. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    Oh I am starting to totally acknowledge that Macron isn't all that great for you. I've also seen some German press critical of him, reporting on falling support ratings as well as a resistance against some proposed laws.

    Still I stay with: Better this than Le Pen.
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  19. tatsujb

    tatsujb Post Master General

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    yeah I agree now.
  20. thetrophysystem

    thetrophysystem Post Master General

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    If the people that hate one politician for being "Twitler", and hate another for being "shut-in and closed off", then what you hate overlap as a Venn Diagram.

    There are people you hate, for both commenting on Twitter, and not commenting enough on Twitter. So your advice, is they should post moess, or leore? Jw.

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