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Old 2016-11-30, 21:58   Link #2461
Archon_Wing
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frivolity View Post
My interpretation of it is that the distinction lies in humanity as a whole compared to human beings as individuals.

One who believes in the unconstrained vision believes that humanity can achieve something close to perfection, but not all individuals as they currently stand are on that path to perfection. Reaching that perfection therefore requires the rejection of those who are not on that path, which is why this vision believes in having the superior vision dictate things for those who aren't on that same path.

The constrained vision believes that what's flawed is humanity itself, so when individuals are identified as being flawed, that is reflective of the flaw in humanity itself. This gives no individual superior knowledge over the collective wisdom of society as a whole.

One thing to note about Sowell's thesis in A Conflict of Visions is that he wasn't really arguing about who's right, but is instead trying to identify why people tend to be on the same side on seemingly unrelated issues. He has his own views as a conservative of course, but his book is not about defending one vision over another, and is instead attempting to elicit the core implied assumptions on both sides.
I think the trouble comes when one is basically making the argument for both sides and its implications. Now of course, it's sort of necessary for the sake of thought. However, given how a lot of people feel so left out with not a side to pick, it doesn't feel surprising either. But I really do think the unconstrained vision as discussed feels like the talk of more extremism than anything else as I'd tend to associate such qualities with say, Mao, Pol Pot, or the radical Islamic extremism in the Middle East. But perhaps not everyone has the same negative implications as I.

As a side note, I do not consider any entity working in self-interest to be a bad thing , but rather a grey thing. After all, cooperation has been important in the development of society and the species as a whole, and while individuals may work for their own good it's simply more effective then forcing people to do things just because.

It is simply when this self interest aggressively infringes on the interests of others or allows one to circumvent responsibility to be a problem. For example, businesses are out there to make profit. Nothing wrong with them. But then the government bailing out irresponsible entities too big to fail is another issue.


Quote:
That said, I do acknowledge that there very well might be some people who can in fact be surrogate decision-makers for society. The closest I've seen to that is Lee Kuan Yew, but I'm sceptical about how effective he would have been had he been placed in charge of country that's multiple times larger than Singapore.
I would definitely say even if there were, it'd be safer to assume not. In the end, it's simply too dangerous and arrogant of a decision for anyone to make. And that safe bet has served its purpose well over 200 years despite the constant assaults that have happened since. Despite all the establishment hate, one has to somewhat marvel at the Constitution being truly idiot proof as we might have all vanished in a pile of dust by now.

There are many benefits to a system that doesn't get altered by radicalism easily.
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Old 2016-11-30, 22:49   Link #2462
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Old 2016-11-30, 23:39   Link #2463
Akuma Kousaka
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frivolity View Post
And how do you propose to enforce a rule regarding non-monetary valuables? Are you going to force all politicians to stop giving paid speeches? Are you going to stop them from soliciting donations on behalf of charities? What if I happen to be friends with a politician and choose to treat him/her to a meal? And if I decide to pay for advertising that puts a certain politician in a good light, are you going to ban that too?

You're looking at the benefits of legislation but you're not looking at the costs that it will have on society in terms of enforcement, compliance, and decision-making if you believe that such an air-tight policy is even feasible

A monopoly that isn't acting in the interest of consumers will soon find its monopoly position being threatened by new entrants with disruptive capabilities so long as there is no government intervention to preserve that monopoly position. Moot point.

The full time jobs that you're talking about are intended to be entry level positions that enable a worker to gain skills that can then be leveraged to secure better-paying jobs in the future. I would know the first job that I secured on my own was a retail position that paid me below Australia's minimum wage, but which provided me with skills and experience that signalled to future employers that I was trustworthy and reliable. I would not have my current job had I not had that early job experience. The kind of policies that I assume you're referring to such as raising minimum wages will only serve to reduce the number of jobs available, which would deny even more people the crucial transition step between going from unemployment to an eventual high-wage job

Supply-side economics has not been debunked. The supposed failure of "trickle-down economics" is merely a strawman that is perpetuated by people in favour of bigger government

I respect Noam Chomsky heavily as a linguist, but not as a political or economic pundit, especially when he makes absurd statements such as the GOP being the most dangerous organisation in human history without even intending to be hyperbolic about it
That's why an adversarial media is needed to "enforce" the spirit of the law when the letter falls short, while that position on monopolies waits for the damage to be done before something challenges it. The GOP fails the paradox "if every minimum wage worker suddenly worked to get promoted, how would you promote all of them?" Minimum wage workers are needed and the least they deserve is a living wage. It does not subtract jobs, it gives people more money to spend on business goods. Chomsky and other political pundits are correct to point out the GOP is off the spectrum while the Democrats are now the Republicans. As proof of concept, George Bush senior called trickle-down economics voodoo economics; history will spit on trying to normalize off the spectrum policies, fortunately I'm not doing the normalizing
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Old 2016-12-01, 02:44   Link #2464
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akuma Kousaka View Post
That's why an adversarial media is needed to "enforce" the spirit of the law when the letter falls short, while that position on monopolies waits for the damage to be done before something challenges it. The GOP fails the paradox "if every minimum wage worker suddenly worked to get promoted, how would you promote all of them?" Minimum wage workers are needed and the least they deserve is a living wage. It does not subtract jobs, it gives people more money to spend on business goods. Chomsky and other political pundits are correct to point out the GOP is off the spectrum while the Democrats are now the Republicans. As proof of concept, George Bush senior called trickle-down economics voodoo economics; history will spit on trying to normalize off the spectrum policies, fortunately I'm not doing the normalizing
Then your suggestion goes back to what I said earlier, that you make all sorts of unrealistic assumptions that:
(1) Mainstream TV news media can go straight all of a sudden when we know that they aren't; (2) There exist a sufficient number of politicians that are principled, have huge political clout, and the resources to match the less principled politicians; and (3) The people are sufficiently invested in the political process to discern between voices. Instead of relying on all these unrealistic assumptions that will never materialise, it is far more realistic to push for a smaller government.
The market position on monopolies is the least worst option available. A monopoly is not a bad thing in and of itself, unless there are other factors that lead to that monopoly position being economically entrenched. Such factors primarily involve barriers to entry such as sunk costs in the case of natural monopolies and government legislation in the case of industries that involve licensing. If such factors do not exist, then a monopolist will still be subject to the threat of new entrants, and will thus have the incentive to meet the interests of consumers, otherwise it will end up losing its monopoly position.

The supposed paradox you're talking about is not a paradox at all. If every minimum wage worker worked to get promoted in the sense that they all worked hard and raised their productivity, then employers will raise their wages as a result of sheer market forces. The mechanism for this is that if you have a highly productive worker who generates much more value for his firm than he is paid, then the firm will have every incentive to pay him more in order to prevent him from being poached away.

Artificially raising the minimum wage without having a corresponding increase in productivity will increase unemployment. You don't need to be an economist to understand that. Large firms such as McDonald's have been speeding up the rollout of automatic checkout stations that will cut down the number of low-wage workers that they need to hire. Small-medium enterprises that are barely keeping afloat will not have the funds to hire the same number of workers on a higher minimum wage and will have to reduce their employees or shut down. All of these will increase unemployment among the low-skilled workers.

Whenever the minimum wage is raised, it's always the lowest skill workers who suffer the most because they are the first to be given the sack. This perpetuates a poverty cycle because these low skill workers no longer have access to the lowest rung of the corporate ladder that they can use to build up skills and experience in order to climb.

The supposed failure of trickle down economics is nothing more than a buzz phrase that is being used as a straw man. As described by the quote in my previous post, supply side economics is not about benefitting the rich first and the poor last. Every time an investment is made on a new project, the worker is always the first to get paid and the equity holder is always the last to be paid with whatever is left over. The raising of labour productivity through investments and innovations on the supply side is the only way to raise wages sustainably in the long run by growing the economic pie, as opposed to redistributing a section of the pie from one person to another and causing a shrinking of the pie in the process.
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Old 2016-12-01, 04:05   Link #2465
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frivolity View Post
The supposed failure of trickle down economics is nothing more than a buzz phrase that is being used as a straw man. As described by the quote in my previous post, supply side economics is not about benefitting the rich first and the poor last. Every time an investment is made on a new project, the worker is always the first to get paid and the equity holder is always the last to be paid with whatever is left over. The raising of labour productivity through investments and innovations on the supply side is the only way to raise wages sustainably in the long run by growing the economic pie, as opposed to redistributing a section of the pie from one person to another and causing a shrinking of the pie in the process.
Economics at the end of the day is a bunch of models based on assumptions about human behavior. Arguing in pure theory does not really get us anywhere. The reason why I and others say trickle down economics doesn't work is because we've now seen a couple different Republican administrations in recent times fail miserably with it and their lax regulations (Bill Clinton is at fault for this too) helped lead us to the great recession. Maybe in a magical world where Republicans actually decide to completely scrap the military, and THEN cut taxes you might get to see your so called economic boom (Which again relies heavily on the assumption that these companies care to invest in hiring American workers when all the evidence in the past decade seems to be to the contrary). Trickle has never been proven to really aid the growth of the middle class, and the only attempts at implementing have been crap. Things like Medicare have actually managed to considerably reduce poverty for the elderly.
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Old 2016-12-01, 06:49   Link #2466
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frivolity View Post
Then your suggestion goes back to what I said earlier, that you make all sorts of unrealistic assumptions that:
(1) Mainstream TV news media can go straight all of a sudden when we know that they aren't; (2) There exist a sufficient number of politicians that are principled, have huge political clout, and the resources to match the less principled politicians; and (3) The people are sufficiently invested in the political process to discern between voices. Instead of relying on all these unrealistic assumptions that will never materialize, it is far more realistic to push for a smaller government.
The market position on monopolies is the least worst option available. A monopoly is not a bad thing in and of itself, unless there are other factors that lead to that monopoly position being economically entrenched. Such factors primarily involve barriers to entry such as sunk costs in the case of natural monopolies and government legislation in the case of industries that involve licensing. If such factors do not exist, then a monopolist will still be subject to the threat of new entrants, and will thus have the incentive to meet the interests of consumers, otherwise it will end up losing its monopoly position.

The supposed paradox you're talking about is not a paradox at all. If every minimum wage worker worked to get promoted in the sense that they all worked hard and raised their productivity, then employers will raise their wages as a result of sheer market forces. The mechanism for this is that if you have a highly productive worker who generates much more value for his firm than he is paid, then the firm will have every incentive to pay him more in order to prevent him from being poached away.

Artificially raising the minimum wage without having a corresponding increase in productivity will increase unemployment. You don't need to be an economist to understand that. Large firms such as McDonald's have been speeding up the rollout of automatic checkout stations that will cut down the number of low-wage workers that they need to hire. Small-medium enterprises that are barely keeping afloat will not have the funds to hire the same number of workers on a higher minimum wage and will have to reduce their employees or shut down. All of these will increase unemployment among the low-skilled workers.

Whenever the minimum wage is raised, it's always the lowest skill workers who suffer the most because they are the first to be given the sack. This perpetuates a poverty cycle because these low skill workers no longer have access to the lowest rung of the corporate ladder that they can use to build up skills and experience in order to climb.

The supposed failure of trickle down economics is nothing more than a buzz phrase that is being used as a straw man. As described by the quote in my previous post, supply side economics is not about benefiting the rich first and the poor last. Every time an investment is made on a new project, the worker is always the first to get paid and the equity holder is always the last to be paid with whatever is left over. The raising of labour productivity through investments and innovations on the supply side is the only way to raise wages sustainably in the long run by growing the economic pie, as opposed to redistributing a section of the pie from one person to another and causing a shrinking of the pie in the process
Pushing for mainstream TV news media to once again be adversarial is as realistic as pushing the Democratic establishment back to the left; if it doesn't happen, something else will take their place (they don't want that) and promptly cover corporatist apologetics. Unsurprising the establishment which snubbed 2.5m votes is also doubling down on the policies that severely damaged a large portion of Trump's voters
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Old 2016-12-01, 08:30   Link #2467
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If only you would spend as much time writing replies as you do fixing typos in quotes.
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Old 2016-12-01, 08:45   Link #2468
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
Economics at the end of the day is a bunch of models based on assumptions about human behavior. Arguing in pure theory does not really get us anywhere. The reason why I and others say trickle down economics doesn't work is because we've now seen a couple different Republican administrations in recent times fail miserably with it and their lax regulations (Bill Clinton is at fault for this too) helped lead us to the great recession. Maybe in a magical world where Republicans actually decide to completely scrap the military, and THEN cut taxes you might get to see your so called economic boom (Which again relies heavily on the assumption that these companies care to invest in hiring American workers when all the evidence in the past decade seems to be to the contrary). Trickle has never been proven to really aid the growth of the middle class, and the only attempts at implementing have been crap. Things like Medicare have actually managed to considerably reduce poverty for the elderly.
I'm an econometrician before I'm an economist, so I too put more weight on empirical evidence over pure theory.

As I've mentioned in one of my earlier posts, supply side economics was shown to work in the early 1920s when the US economy ran into a massive recession that led to double digit unemployment at one point. The Mellon tax cuts, coupled with a fiscal contraction by Warren Harding, resulted in a rapid recovery that ushered in the roaring twenties.[1] Tax revenue actually went up from $700 million to $1 billion after the tax cuts, and the share of taxes paid by those earning above $100k went up from 30% to 65%.

The reason why I say that the disparaging of "trickle down economics" is a strawman is because there is no such trickle-down theory being advocated for by any economist, and the actual legitimate theory of supply side economics works in the opposite order from that referred to by critics of the supposed theory. The phrase is simply used as a political pejorative and a scare tactic by those pushing for bigger government.

Going back to the actual theory of supply side economics, the theory relies on two pillars: cutting taxes and cutting government spending. Implementing the former but not the latter will obviously lead to failure. The problem is not the theory itself but the failure of the presidents. Warren Harding specifically overruled his secretary of commerce, Herbert Hoover, when implementing his supply side policies. No other subsequent president has done the same, not even Reagan, because they allowed politics to decide economics instead of the other way round.

And how about a policy of raising taxes? The top tax rate was 24% at the onset of the Wall Street crash in 1929, and the economy was already in recovery within two years, at which point taxes were repeatedly raised, causing the economy to tank into the Great Depression.

Your assessment of Medicare only looks at the benefits and not the costs. I've discussed this before in one of my earlier posts, so I'm just going to quote Milton Friedman's brilliant response to an interviewer who argued the same thing as you did. And for US citizens your age, the high likelihood that social security won't last till you're 65 is something that you really should be worried about:
There are many people who benefited from Medicare, but you’re not looking at the cost side. What has happened to the people who are paying for it? It isn’t — we don’t have a free good. It isn’t coming from nowhere. And are they benefiting from it, in a cost-effective way? Those are the questions. It’s demagoguery, if you’ll pardon me, Michael Harrington, to say the people who have Medicare are freer. Of course, in one dimension. But they themselves had been paying all their life, and have they gotten a good bargain? At the moment, they have. The young man, the young working people who are going into Social Security now, they’re going to get a very raw deal indeed. - Milton Friedman
[1] My earlier post mistakenly attributed it to Hoover instead of Warren.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akuma Kousaka View Post
Pushing for mainstream TV news media to once again be adversarial is as realistic as pushing the Democratic establishment back to the left; if it doesn't happen, something else will take their place (they don't want that) and promptly cover corporatist apologetics. Unsurprising the establishment which snubbed 2.5m votes is also doubling down on the policies that severely damaged a large portion of Trump's voters
I agree on this, and I'm happy to leave it at that.
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Last edited by frivolity; 2016-12-01 at 09:45.
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Old 2016-12-01, 10:48   Link #2469
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The question is who the taxes were raised on because it doesn't mathematically add up to charge a higher % to lower incomes and a lower % to higher incomes, and how many exploits there are in avoiding those taxes. Those tax dollars then go to government which should be used for tuition free college, single-pay healtcare, repairing infrastructure, and so on, while also keeping corporations in check and prohibiting money in politics by law. Bernie's proposal against outsourcing inflicted penalties on business while Trump brought back the Carrier jobs after giving them a blowjob

In a system that makes, I'd be conservative if there's nothing to change. If America were caught up with the rest of the modern world for living wage, single-payer healthcare, and so on, there's almost no reason to be liberal. But the system doesn't make sense, and if anyone wants to bring up the cost of these things, my reflex is "really? we're the richest nation in the world and we can't figure out what the other modern nations have solved? We can ejaculate $2t on a fighter jet that doesn't work but we can't solve single payer healthcare? My asscheeks we can't figure it out; maybe prohibit the insurance companies from blowing you so you're not tempted to give them the reach around"
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Old 2016-12-01, 23:39   Link #2470
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https://twitter.com/Redistrict/statu...07177368715265

I'm so happy Stein voters took an ideological stand. They must love what they just gave the country!
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Old 2016-12-02, 00:54   Link #2471
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Trump said he will make James Mattis as Secretary of Defense.

How that changes things in comparission to Obama administration?
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Old 2016-12-02, 00:54   Link #2472
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Considering Gary Johnson got more votes than she did I don't think it was all that much of a factor.
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Old 2016-12-02, 01:55   Link #2473
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
https://twitter.com/Redistrict/statu...07177368715265

I'm so happy Stein voters took an ideological stand. They must love what they just gave the country!
That implies they would vote at all if she didn't run to begin with.
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Old 2016-12-02, 02:57   Link #2474
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
https://twitter.com/Redistrict/statu...07177368715265

I'm so happy Stein voters took an ideological stand. They must love what they just gave the country!
Implying green voters who are to the left of sanders would ever choose Clinton, who is the right of sanders. Not to mention we ignore the people in the democratic party who went to trump this year.
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Old 2016-12-02, 02:58   Link #2475
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That implies they would vote at all if she didn't run to begin with.
That's not the point. If they cared so deeply about progressive issues they would have realized they needed to stop this nut from getting into the white house. Clearly their votes mattered more than they may have realized. I'm just glad they're happy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brother Coa View Post
Trump said he will make James Mattis as Secretary of Defense.

How that changes things in comparission to Obama administration?
All I'm seeing from Trump is that he's not draining the swamp, he's bringing the swamp he campaigned again. But don't worry, he tells it like it is guys.
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Old 2016-12-02, 03:31   Link #2476
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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
That's not the point. If they cared so deeply about progressive issues they would have realized they needed to stop this nut from getting into the white house. Clearly their votes mattered more than they may have realized. I'm just glad they're happy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
https://twitter.com/Redistrict/statu...07177368715265

I'm so happy Stein voters took an ideological stand. They must love what they just gave the country!

Also I don't get his PA calculation 99.8% of the votes are in meaning 5,970,107 voted with .02% remaining.

Trump is ahead of Clinton by 68,236 votes. Jill has 48,912, even if we add the 0.2% to jill steins number, and proceed to give Clinton 100% of stein votes, Clinton would still be over 7000 short. In order for her to win PA she would need 100% of jill stein voters, and a portion of Johnson voters as well. So am I missing something?

As for you tirade on people who didn't vote for her, it is debatable if they see the dem party as anything remotely progressive or even different from the rep party, especially with Hillary as the lead. You can fly with the lesser of the two evils thing though, as that is a more valid point.

But why berate third party voters, when even the democratic party voters switched parties to trump?

You can't be seriously closed minded enough to think a singular alternative candidate is the sole reason for her losing, right? I feel you are looking for scapegoats, and easy solutions to explain a complex multifaceted problem, that spans years, upon years of issues.

It's easy to target/blame the weakest, and smallest minority, who are the least represented, and have the least political power.
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Old 2016-12-02, 05:26   Link #2477
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Appointing a guy known as "Mad Dog" as defence secretary. What could possibly go wrong?
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Old 2016-12-02, 08:10   Link #2478
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^A lot of foot in mouth moments.
I understand US Marines can be gentlemen in public and foul mouthed in the battlefield but if the new Def Sec insist speaking more like a devil dog and less of a proper Marine, a lot of people are gonna look at him weirdly or in a worse case, thinks he nuts and perpetuate the stereotype that US Marines are dumb.
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Old 2016-12-02, 11:34   Link #2479
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If you "deeply" cared about progressive values, you wouldn't have voted for Clinton in the first place.
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Old 2016-12-02, 12:07   Link #2480
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If nothing else Trump made a good choice - a military men and one with experience to that.
And it seems that majority of general public approves, most importantly the military.
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