Political Discussion Megathread

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Eth
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Re: Political Discussion Megathread

Post by Eth »

Dyandod wrote:
Eth wrote: I don't think that conservatism is the problem. It's important to have a variety of view points in a democracy. The Republican Party, however, is becoming increasingly incapable of performing the role of expressing that viewpoint. It is increasingly becoming a regional (southern) party. It has remained a party for white men, a shrinking demographic, while excluding everyone else. The irrational dismissal of facts that are uncomfortable as "biased" is making them increasingly out-of-touch with reality. Their radicalism, extremism and their treatment of moderates in their party have made them disfunctional at governance. The party has been taken over by radical idealogues who seem to have a vested interest in tearing the country apart. The Republican Party has got to change, for its own good and for the nation's good.
I agree almost entirely with that. But you can say almost the exact same things about the Democratic party, and it would be just as true.
You seriously think that the Democrats are as intractable and radicalized as the Republicans? Dwight Eisenhower or Barry Goldwater would have been denounced as socialists by many of the members of the current House majority. I reject your false equivilency.

Also, how can you say the both the Republicans and the Democrats are shrinking, regional parties? The democrats have the majorities of: women, african americans, hispanics, young people, and gays. All the Republicans have left is straight white old men. This isn't healthy for that Party, and America can't afford to let the Democrats run things unchecked while the Republicans continue to shrink and become increasingly ineffective due to their dismissal of facts. The Democrats (I love em, but "absolute power corrupts absolutely") had a stranglehold on the senste for decades, and they became arrogant and corrupt. We can't afford to have that happen again. The Republicans have go to get their act together.
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Zeracles
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Re: Political Discussion Megathread

Post by Zeracles »

I don't know enough to comment on a lot of the US-specific stuff but I think our government is quietly pleased that the republicans didn't get in - because our treasurer said the republicans had come under the influence of a bunch of crazed cranks, calling them a risk to the global economy. His words not mine :P-smf
Dyandod wrote:Generally, I feel that conservative policies are more helpful to the economy than liberal policies
Noting that you associate right-wing with conservative (which is not always so), this sounds like an ideological stance, which is difficult to debate from evidence because ideology colours one's interpretation of everything. So if it's about ideology I'll give my ideological reasons for leaning left.

I know there is a view, held by some right-wingers that privatising everything and putting free markets everywhere will always be good for any economy. I think such blind faith in markets is fine as an ideology but not so good if you want optimal performance, although I don't disagree that markets can be wonderful distributors of resources. But the thing to understand is that markets do fail, and a simple way to understand this is that by privatising sections of the ecomomy you hand control over the distribution of resources to individuals - you give them choice, the freedom. Well guess what? They don't make optimal decisions!

Secondly, even if individuals did make optimal market decisions the system still wouldn't reach its full potential. Capitalism encourages a kind of enlightened self-interest (`greed is good') but common sense tells us that must break down at some point, and it's only when we all pull together that the best outcomes are achieved for the collective. See Prisoner's Dilemma, a game theoretic demonstration that collective action is often best; government is the agent of collective action.

Well that's ideology. I believe we already discussed empirical data that shows economies more efficient than yours are not that way because they have smaller government in the Mars thread.
Dyandod wrote:
Death 999 wrote:
Dyandod wrote:During the past few years, I've seen this country roll slowly downhill.
In what respects? Not economic respects, certainly.
Yes, in economic respects, among others. Look up "real unemployment rate", for one. (I had found a fantastic page about this a few days ago, but for the life of me I can't find it again....) Also, consider our downgraded credit rating.
Jobs are important but you're back to trend growth, which I'd say is a fine improvement over the pit you were in when Obama took office.
Dyandod wrote:I once had to prepare a debate about something politics-related (I can't remember what exactly) in 9th grade or so, and I discovered that my opponent and I were using the same exact data from the same website to argue different points. So... yeah.

. . .

(As a side note, my dad suggested a book to me called "How to Lie with Statistics"... I should probably try and find a copy somewhere)
That usually happens when one contender is a crackpot (like a flat-Earther, creationist or climate change skeptic). In most cases where there are two interpretations of the same data it isn't so sketchy to a trained statistician. Which unfortunately leaves most of the population susceptible to the crackpot.
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Angelfish
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Re: Political Discussion Megathread

Post by Angelfish »

Eth wrote:
Angelfish wrote:Well, hopefully we can quit talking about the token black guy for a few years now.
I'm not sure what you're trying to accomplish in this thread, Angelfish, but it's disruptive. Please either bring up a political topic to discuss or join in the discussion already in progress. Complaining about people discussing politics in the Political Megathread is obnoxious. If you have any questions about this, please PM me.
I'm trying to bring the discussion to an international level instead of just the internal US squabbles.
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Maloo Oture
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Re: Political Discussion Megathread

Post by Maloo Oture »

Angelfish wrote:
Eth wrote:
Angelfish wrote:Well, hopefully we can quit talking about the token black guy for a few years now.
I'm not sure what you're trying to accomplish in this thread, Angelfish, but it's disruptive. Please either bring up a political topic to discuss or join in the discussion already in progress. Complaining about people discussing politics in the Political Megathread is obnoxious. If you have any questions about this, please PM me.
I'm trying to bring the discussion to an international level instead of just the internal US squabbles.
Yes. But when we ask you to bring up an international topic, you bring one up that is only interesting to you. This is a forum made up of many minds and personalities. It's unfair to claim that what you desire to talk about is more desirable than what the rest of the group wants to talk about.
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Death 999
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Re: Political Discussion Megathread

Post by Death 999 »

Dyandod wrote:As for what Romney would do to and/or for America, all we have to do is look at his past. He's had a lot of economic success as governor of Massachusetts, and we can also see success in his work at Bain Capital, and for the Salt Lake City Olympics. Honestly, he had/has a lot more achievements under his belt than Obama did when he was elected.
As governor...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Governorsh ... itt_Romney
Romney issued 844 vetos as governor,[215] the large share of which of which were overturned by one or the other of the state houses.
he got steamrolled. As you'd expect a R in MA to be. Whenever he says 'I reached across the aisle', it was more that the aisle was jammed down his throat against his strenuous objections. Whenever he says 'we got things done', that's true in the loosest sense that he was part of the government and the government got things done.

The rest... isn't public policy. He can manage/own well. That's nice. The President isn't a manager/owner. A president - particularly with a divided congress - faces a lot more opposition. Opposition that couldn't overwhelm him like in MA, to be sure. But it does mean we haven't seen how he does in such a situation.

But I wasn't asking about how he'd act, I was asking what he'd actually do while he was acting that way. There's hardly a platform position he's held that survived from March to September, aside from abortion. Can you find any others?
Dyandod wrote:
Death 999 wrote:
Dyandod wrote: This political divide really is such a terrible thing.
Then tell congressional republicans not to reject compromises 75% or 90% in their favor, next time? Seriously - rejecting Obamacare as communist when it was basically identical to the 'Republican counteroffer' Clinton rejected in the '90s? Rejecting "N dollars of spending cuts for each dollar of raised revenue", with N > 3? These block rejections do NOT look like good faith opposition. Please, make a case for those actually being good faith opposition.
Mallo Oture wrote:Dyandod, I'm not 100% for the president, but I have to agree with Death. The last house, and congress continually rejected the compromises made by the administration.
Could you give some examples of these? I'm pretty sure most of them weren't 75-90% in their favor.
Most, sure! And I'll grant that none of the real offers were 90% - the republicans merely made their single position on such a deal known. But should most negotiations end up around 80% in favor of the party with less representation in office?

Let's look at that debt limit extension matter. Note that we are presently borrowing at around the inflation rate, so it's a very favorable time to borrow - it was not exactly the most important time to tackle the debt. Next year or the year after, once we're solidly recovering, is a much better time.

So, let's see how the two sides approach this. There's an interesting quote here...
The Washington Post wrote:“Most Americans would say that a ‘balanced’ approach is a simple one: The administration gets its debt-limit increase, and the American people get their spending cuts and their reforms,” Boehner told reporters at a news conference before heading to the White House. “Adding tax increases to the equation doesn’t balance anything.”
To solve our entire problem your way is not compromise - it's not compromise for a mugger to say he won't kill you if you hand over your money! (and if you say taxation is muggery... No, it isn't. I strongly suggest you not go there) Moreover, the ending factual assertion is ridiculous - adding tax increases DOES balance things. Reagan, solving his budget problems, raised taxes 3 times more than he cut spending. We are nowhere near the point of diminishing revenue on the Laffer curve.

Meanwhile, Obama's best offer was 83% spending cuts, 17% revenue - and he was rejected. If republicans had taken that, it wouldn't have gotten half the democratic votes in either house unless they were whipped pretty hard by their leaders.

If this was a 50/50 compromise, then the democrats must have initially been inclined towards 66% spending cuts and 34% revenue - basically, republicans lite - and yet they get called socialist?

The republicans never accepted the vaguest possibility of a single cent of new tax revenue - until, arguably, the very end, when they accepted it without accepting it by attaching it to the fiscal cliff.

In the debates, each of the candidates was asked if they'd take a debt deal with 10 dollars of spending cuts for each 1 dollar of revenue, and each indicated that this deal was not good enough - and they were all cheered for it.
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Angelfish
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Re: Political Discussion Megathread

Post by Angelfish »

Looks like we're on the eve of another big and senseless war in the middle east, if hostilities continue between Israel and Syria :(
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Eth
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Re: Political Discussion Megathread

Post by Eth »

Angelfish wrote:Looks like we're on the eve of another big and senseless war in the middle east, if hostilities continue between Israel and Syria :(
Yeah, things are getting ugly over there. "Why can't those Middle East people just be nice?"> :cry:
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Death 999
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Re: Political Discussion Megathread

Post by Death 999 »

The problem is, neither side deserves anything as bad as the other, and each side thinks the other is getting much better than they deserve.
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RTyp06
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Re: Political Discussion Megathread

Post by RTyp06 »

The middle east will never be at peace. It's the will of Allah or somthing...
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Alvarin
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Re: Political Discussion Megathread

Post by Alvarin »

Angelfish wrote:Looks like we're on the eve of another big and senseless war in the middle east, if hostilities continue between Israel and Syria :(
There aren't real hostilities now between Israel and Syria, Israel has just warned the Syrian side to be careful with where their ammunition lands. You see, Israel has enough problems on it's own right now and with this civil war going on in Syria, they will not attack too, as the one side that would conflict would get weakened and destroyed by the other side. Perhaps attempts at luring Israel into the conflict there is an attempt to restore common enemy and unite the fighting fractions in Syria.
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