The Politics Thread (PLAY NICELY!)

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

  1. tatsujb

    tatsujb Post Master General

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    x'D

    are you the new Ken M? Do I respond? are you really being serious or are we all being trolled despite our combined efforts to stay on top of that?

    has socialism ever worked... I dunno what does that word mean to you and have you ever heard of other countries?

    cuz if the answers are : "Satan" and : "no." then there's no basis for a conversation.

    Socialism is in effect right now all over the world. In one of your biggest political allies : France. why not try germany or a bunch of other countries from europe.
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  2. Gorbles

    Gorbles Post Master General

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    The argument that "X has never worked therefore X should not be advocated" is a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Also, fun reminder that Trump has actually not done as well with his money as experts claim he could have done by investing in it sensibly. He just started with a few million more than the rest of us (and a company to boot).

    I also strongly disagree with your stance on China, unless you like state-controlled media, countrywide firewalls, and so on.
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  3. websterx01

    websterx01 Post Master General

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  4. tatsujb

    tatsujb Post Master General

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    I don't think you quite understand how capitalism works then.

    the debt's going nowhere bukko. it's here to stay and get worse.
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  5. tatsujb

    tatsujb Post Master General

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    fuckin g fuc k AM I READING THIS RIGHT???

    you too @websterx01?

    Is there no American on earth who knows what the words socialism actually means?
  6. stuart98

    stuart98 Post Master General

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    Let me help you here Kiwi by showing you why Europeans think Americans are idiots when it comes to policy (because we are, frankly):
    Here are the leading presidential candidates on the Political Compass:
    [​IMG]
    X-Axis is classic economic left-right scale (left is pro-unions, pro-wellfare programs, with the far left being complete government control of the economy). Y-Axis is a personal freedom scale, down being more liberal stances (pro-gay marriage, pro-drug legalization, etc).
    Clinton is barrely more left than the Republicans and both are towards the end of the economic right. Bernie is slightly past the center-left line.

    Here are the major German political parties:
    [​IMG]

    Canadian:
    [​IMG]

    UK:
    [​IMG]

    New Zealand:
    [​IMG]

    Australian:
    [​IMG]

    tl;dr stawp watching fox
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  7. Killerkiwijuice

    Killerkiwijuice Post Master General

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    I don't even know why i'm engaging in an argument about politics with non-americans LEL
  8. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    Yes. It is one of the plus points. My votes here in Germany go usually to political parties that are even more on the left than Bernie. Bernie is like the "minimum left" I'd vote for.
    I don't understand why you are saying "he is a socialist" like it is a problem. What is so bad about wanting to do something about this?

    [​IMG]

    Do you realize your society is gonna shatter and break quite violently if that gets worse?
    You ask where to take money from to pay for a few things for the less fortunate of your society? Start by taking from the blue line. Nobody who is part of that will suffer from having a few millions less.

    I am currently attending a German University. It costs me ~120 Euro per semester, mainly for a bus ticket everyone has to get because of a deal with the local bus company. Basically every student gets a really cheap (120€ to be able to drive bus all I want for multiple month is insane cheap) "all semester" bus ticket, but every student has to get it.
    Additionally, I'd not describe myself as poor in any way, but I still qualify for a government help program that pays me 220€ a month (basically a large portion of all students qualify, it isn't hard to) to help me stay afloat while I study. Once I am finished I'll have to pay back half of that money. They other half is a donation I can keep.
    Germany made 12.1 Billion Euro PLUS last year. A historic event, but still helpful for my argument ;)

    Yes free college can work. It works here. Since many years.

    Other example: Medical care. It bewilders me how there is/was any resistance to it in the US. Here in Germany we always had a mandatory medical care insurance everyone has to have. Nobody questions that. The idea that a large part of the population can't just go to a doctor at will because they might not be able to pay for it is crazy. Why would a developed nation want that.


    Even if I were totally anti social like you seem to be though I'd still not vote for somebody like cruz or trump. They stand for values I do not agree with. If you go and demand to take action against all Muslim people because some criminal somewhere was a Muslim you're unacceptable for me.


    EDIT:
    Also on the "closer to china" thing: You don't want that.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-34592186

    Not to mention it is kinda weird how you seem to be afraid of anything "socialist" and then say Trump makes the US more like China. Just so we understand each other: China is basically a communist dictatorship. Not the kind of socialistic that Bernie stands for or the socialistic that I vote here in Germany, but the socialistic you're actually afraid of: "We were friends with the udssr"-kind of socialistic.
    Last edited: February 2, 2016
  9. Killerkiwijuice

    Killerkiwijuice Post Master General

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    Nothing is actually free, how much tax do you pay? Socialism does not work for America simply because it's not your normal country. Its ideas and well, people, at least some of them, know that nothing is free. There is always a catch.

    This is hyperbole, but I once heard a good quote in my US Gov class: "Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude." I hate acting like a philosopher and I hate quoting things but I love this quote :p

    I know it doesn't seem bad to most people, but where I live this is essentially communism. Although I do live in a far right part of the world here.
  10. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    Currently I do not pay taxes as I am a student without income. I did work before I started to study. After all taxes, insurances, etc I kept ~65% for myself. Pretty okay imho.

    Also you're mixing something up really bad here. "Socialist" is a somewhat broad word I guess.
    "Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality"
    In this sentence you compare democracy with the communistic kind of socialism you can find in china/the past udssr.

    It has nothing to do with what Bernie stands for. Bernie is a democratic candidate not a communist.
    Even the political party "the left" here in Germany, which makes Bernie look like a right wing activist, isn't trying to establish communism. You can be very left while still being totally good for the democracy.
    Democracy is a very vital and important thing I totally agree on. And I honestly think Bernie is best for the democratic state of the US.
    The massive right wing people are _NOT_ good for freedom or democracy. The political system in the US is massively controlled by money. You can easily find very valid statistics that clearly show you that the more money you have the more political influence you get in the US. In fact there are quite valid looking studies that suggest the average american has virtually no influence anymore. Decisions are made by rich people for rich people.
    I mean look at the candidates: They're all rich in one way or the other. You can't be president in the US anymore unless you're crazy rich it seems. But IF you are rich you can be candidate while claiming the Egyptian pyramids were build to store grain or ... well you can be Donald Trump. Although he might also partly be where he is because he attracts xenophobes to vote for him. But in general it seems: You can be insane. As long as you have money you're free to go and be a candidate.
    Your democracy and your freedom is eaten up by money.

    The only "socialist" thing that Bernie demands is that poor members of your society are given a chance to not stay poor and get a basic support to, for example, go to a good college and learn stuff. Learning stuff is key to fight inequality.

    There is a very very very very big range between a communistic anti-democratic system and going a bit more left from the typical US right wing politics. Really!
    If Trump has a communism rating of -9001, Bernie might have one of -5000. Real communism starts at maybe +5000 ;)

    Seriously broad your horizons a little. Just because somebody demands to give money to the poor and take it from the rich doesn't mean they don't want to keep democracy. :)

    Also the "restraint and servitude"-part of your quote makes me think of all the total surveillance **** the NSA and co are doing, mainly pushed by .... republican right politicians.
    Last edited: February 3, 2016
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  11. Killerkiwijuice

    Killerkiwijuice Post Master General

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    I know it's exaggeration, hence "hyperbole". I was trying to establish some sort of coherent ground without making it seem ridiculous.

    There's really a lot I could talk about but honestly it doesn't make much sense to do so when the election is quite imminent.

    My main issue with Bernie is the mere wording of his speech: "free". That always raises my caution flag. Nothing is free.

    Well, anyone is better than Obama ;/
  12. stuart98

    stuart98 Post Master General

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    Kiwi, realize this: Obama has done the following:
    Decreased the number of uninsured Americans by 1/3.
    Turned around an economic decline, with unemployment at a mere 5%.
    Work to establish new global limits on climate change and a path to achieving them.
    Normalizing relations with Cuba.
    Negotiated a deal with Iran that prevents them from constructing nuclear weapons for the time being.
    Neutralized Osama bin Laden.
    Pushed successfully to expand LGBT rights.

    And done all of this with a Republican congress hell-bent on doing nothing but obstructing Obama's entire agenda and uncompromisingly pushing their extreme right agenda without any regard for compromise or governance. 10 years from now, Obama will not be seen as the devil incarnate, will be seen not as a bad president, a mediocre president, or even a good president, but rather as a great president who overcame the most partisan of divided governments in our country's history and still got an amount of work done that was not small.
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  13. Geers

    Geers Post Master General

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    Just because Sanders has some socialist-like views doesn't mean that he can transform literally the largest capitalist economy in the world into flucking Soviet Russia. That's Trump-level crazy.
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  14. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    I just read yet another German article with thoughts about something that must seem insane to you Kiwi.

    The idea of doing away with large parts of the complex social and tax stuff and going for an unconditional base income for everybody. No matter who you are or what you do, the state gives you 1000€ a month flat. For FREE ;)
    Since the complex tax system is only as complex as it is because it tries to be fair it can also be reduced (since everyone gets enough money to live already either way) to a single tax on stuff you buy. Balanced in a way to pay for the base income and other costs.
    Obviously only having one single social support system that is unconditional (= very easy to manage) and one single tax means soooooo much less cost on managing the whole thing.
    And when you think about it it becomes clear there are many many many more things that would suddenly be a non-issue. For example the government is massively pumping money into old industries (for example coal) through subventions currently. Why? To keep them alive! Why keep old and inefficient industries alive? To make sure the people who work there don't lose their job. Rejoice if everyone gets enough base income that suddenly isn't that important anymore. So just go and stop the subvention. Saves a lot of money.
    Sounds crazy? Finland is actually planning a real test run with 10k people to see how people actually behave when they are given free unconditional money.

    That is what I would call an extreme lefty idea.

    And then I read about Americans calling Bernie Sanders a socialist.
    You're silly :D
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  15. Killerkiwijuice

    Killerkiwijuice Post Master General

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    Well let me just stop you there: the president did not do this alone, as i'm sure you know. When I hear that the president did X or did Y I throw up in my mouth. While he did push for these changes, and was successful, he also made major mistakes and missed opportunities like the Iran nuclear deal and Benghazi, to name a few.

    We could play the list game for days, but that would just be dumb. I think you're right in that we need to wait a while before we see the big effects of his presidency though.
  16. Killerkiwijuice

    Killerkiwijuice Post Master General

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    I know:
    I said before (not explicitly though ;s ) that I dislike Sanders for his "free this, free that" take on government. Nothing is really free. That's a dangerous road, at least for America. America does not operate like most countries.

    There is absolutely no way that can work on a massive scale. It's not even a matter of opinion at that point. (I don't think you're agreeing with that idea either, if I can read correctly)

    If people are literally given money for free then money loses its definition and purpose. Money is earned, not given. I mean seriously that is going to result in some sort of communism.

    I really am not quite sure how most European governments operate like this, although I must admit that I don't have much knowledge in this political science field to form a solid consensus on it. Therefore I'd like to just die right now because I don't have much strength left in my argument lol
  17. cola_colin

    cola_colin Moderator Alumni

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    I am doubtful it can work easily and it certainly won't be happening any time soon, but there are more than just a handful of people who make loud thoughts about it and some of those people do have a lot more knowledge about economics than I have. ;)
    1000€ a month for everybody would overstrain the german state by a factor of ~2 atm, so yeah don't see it possible like that, but I dunno.
    I do like the idea however. It's simple and stupid. I like simple stupid things. ;)
    Also the main argument against it I read in articles about it is always the question: How do people react to this? Do they get lazy? And I am strongly believing that is not the case. I think the vast majority of people will continue to strive to work.
    Our social system already does make it possible for people to basically go lazy and not do anything at all. They only get a few hundred euro base to stay alive, but they do get it if they need it and fill out a few dozen forms to ask for it. You know what? There is a considerable amount of people who try to avoid that. They rather work for a few hundred euro a month instead of take it from the state for free. Stuff like personal honor and pride makes people do that.

    Well maybe it has merit to question just about everything: Why does money need to have the definition and purpose it has? Does anybody, apart from filthy rich people, actually like that purpose?

    Though I don't think an unconditional base income really does away with the concept at all. You don't get infinite money. Only enough to stay alive in a somewhat decent way. If you want that expensive new car you either will have to save years for it or go find good paid work even with a base income.

    And either way, you again go down to "it'll be communism" making it sound like your freedom is gonna be lost.
    Why? We're talking about a radical economical concept. Or maybe more a concept of how to do a welfare state. The open market we have now would still be there just like before either way.
    No dictator would force a master plan of how to do anything onto everyone.
    The core point about communism you're afraid of however is to lose your freedom. That has nothing to do with economy. Unless you happen to be filthy rich and consider it your freedom to be able to buy the next president ;)

    Why is it important to even HAVE money for your freedom? Why do you need rich and poor people for your freedom? Why do you need it that some people are not capable of going to college because they're poor?
    Where is freedom in that?

    A -certainly somewhat extreme and maybe crazy- new concept of how to do a welfare state that keeps all its population save and well fed has nothing to do with the communism you're afraid of. You're afraid of losing your right to vote. Of having a dictator telling you what to do. That has nothing to do with the economic system your state may employ to fight the problem of some people being poor.

    Oh there is no state in the world that applies that concept so far, albeit here in the EU there are a lot pretty lefty states from your point of view that provide their citizens all sort of "free" money services already ;)


    </food for thought>
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  18. Geers

    Geers Post Master General

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    I could deliver some seriously sick burns here. But it would probably be going too far and just be tasteless. My point is, America might not operate like most countries, but that's not necessarily a good thing. STOP USING IMPERIAL MEASUREMENTS.

    Fun fact: Free money is what stopped Australia from getting completely flucked over during the GFC. "Here's $900! Buy a TV! QUICK SPEND SOMETHING!"
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  19. Gorbles

    Gorbles Post Master General

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    "why do i talk games development with forumites"

    "why do i talk about psychology with non-psych majors"

    "why do i talk about anything when there is a chance they might have a different viewpoint to me"

    Sorry for the sarcasm, but it's the double hit of ignoring my post and then posting that incredibly silly one-liner. How's the Bundy terrorist situation going?
  20. tatsujb

    tatsujb Post Master General

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    what you don't understand is that we perfectly understand that and furthermore we understand and pay attention to a subtlety of this that is beyond you completely : who there is a catch for. and yes that can actually be tweaked and yes that is more important than the original sentence.

    I think this may help to illustrate :

    [​IMG]
    this shows the difference between two concepts equality and equity.

    not what we're talking about but it helps to understand why you might not see what we're talking about when we say there's a difference in free health care actually having a catch and the same concept but the fact that the catch concerns almost noone and that it is most definitely NOT giving false hope to the poorest.

    the poorest will most definitely welcome this and globally see it as an enhancement to their situation 100% of the factors yearly taken into account. And a BIG one.

    I think these are concepts to big for you to understand.

    the world is a big place with many many people and most of what goes on or how it all works does not end up on our doorstep. It's easy to assume that generalizations will be a useful tool to help the everyman understand all this but it's clear to see that it often leads to the most wildly illogical conclusions.

    what you need to progress into if you really wish to lean into politics this heavily is deepening your overall knowledge of the topics you strive to approach and dig deep to their far-reaching embranchements and roots.

    I am saddened to witness that History is not a subject taught enough in american schools.

    you seem unaware of the origin of America's aversion for socialism. You seem to think it's a contemporary opinion developed in this day and age upon a theory crafting on what it would be like if America adopted it. It's not. I bet this thread has suddenly made you remember the existence of the word communism which you weren't the first to utter and which you probably thought can be used interchangeably with socialism.

    You know politics in America knew big storms during the cold war. And I strongly suggest you read up on that so that at least if you continue to be bigoted you do so in an informed way and one that also removes most of the shroud of ridicule that an uninformed Trump voter basks in and instead of laughing at you we can start debating. because if you can understand the humor in this short skit :


    then now you have an idea of why we want to laugh rather than debate and help you avoid making a terrible mistake. because is that how you feel about Griffin? do you wanna go tell him that he's about to get an anvil on his head? no. you kinda feel you profit more watching him sabotage him self and laughing about it.

    yes even more than Trump, his fanatics are hilarious to us the rest of the world because they think they're going to hurt someone else but we can actually see they are actively proceeding to shoot a bullet into their own foot.

    Several of my (good) history teachers asked us students why we teach history. We could never get it right. The answer they were looking for (and that I kept forgetting) was : "so that it doesn't repeat itself".


    it seems difficult to believe we are going through a repeat in history but not so much when you witness that the average American (I'm sorry other Americans as much as I identify with you guys for having lived their 6 years and continuing to this day to share and practice your culture; you have to admit it; you, the intellectual bunch... are not the majority) knows so little about history :
    http://newsexaminer.net/politics/donald-trump-introduces-refugee-muslim-badges/

    history IS once again attempting to repeat itself. it's happening all over the world. too many years have passed and too little memories from the previous generations have been passed along.


    I'm a little flabbergasted at how you manage to prioritize in your response socialism and pass under silence @cola_colin 's extremely relevant points on china.
    Last edited: February 3, 2016
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