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  1. #251
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    One thing that I've always wondered - just what IS the left's ultimate goal? It seems like they are trying to have the government and its ruling elites take over and run everything (health care and banking/finance in the USA now) and wasting no time and effort to badmouth and try to destroy anyone who tries to oppose them - but then what?

    I can't sense any logical progression from there - other than to see the results of such activities in other places and times in history (nearly ALL of which have been total disasters).

    Mike
    Could the ultimate goal perhaps be...responsible government? I don't know your own personal opinions on the particular issues you may be referring to, but I think what some people characterize as "government takeover" in certain areas is actually the reinstitution of regulations and oversight that had been removed by recent Republican administrations.

    Since Nixon and especially Reagan, I think the Republicans have been very successful at convincing the American public that any program that is government run is, by definition, dysfunctional and inefficient. I would suggest may not be the case and I definitely encourage people to question this assumption and also to look at cases and programs one-by-one instead of assuming that if the government is involved that it is a disaster (again, I'm not saying this is your opinion, but it is the opinion of many). In fact, so many have come to simply assume that this is true that they bristle at any suggestion that government become involved in anything.

    This attitude toward government-run activities has fueled the way for the removal of oversight and regulation in many areas. And in some cases, conservative interests have even underfunded or cut staff in a particular area of regulation and then, when the department is not up to the task, pointed the finger and said "see, the government can't do anything right." I would say the same is true of the mining and extractive services regulation changes during the Bush administration that allowed for more "cooperation" between the private and government bodies involved, resulting in rampant examples of corruption, kickbacks, lavish spending and sexual relations between regulators and employees of the companies they were supposed to regulate. Many of the documented cases, as I recall, directly led to the granting of drilling contracts int he Gulf. Again, conservative interests often point the finger to say that government run programs always fail. But, in fact, those same conservatives also created the situation that led to the failure. So, it can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    I'm not beyond recognizing that government run programs can function poorly and operate inefficiently. But I cannot accept that this is always the case across the board and so I think each department/area needs to be assessed on its own merit. Government programs can run well, efficiently and deliver services to the public that private interests cannot. Not in every area, but in some, I would say this is definitely the case. Health care, for example, is one place where personally, I feel private interests and corporate profit has intruded WAY too far and the result has been a dramatic curtailing of quality of life for many. We have the best medical technology and knowledge in the world, but our method of delivering that care has been a tragic mess. IMHO...
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  2. #252
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    Could the ultimate goal perhaps be...responsible government? ...

    [etc.]
    From an outsider's perspective, it appears there are two factions within the American liberal sphere - self-labelled "progressives" and advocates of Third Way politics.

    The modern progressives draw much of their inspiration from the Progressive movement from the early 20th Century, though the tie is more in spirit, historically, than end goal. A great deal of the Progressive (early 20th Century version) agenda has become status quo in our government since the New Deal through the Great Society and even the Nixon presidency. Modern-day progressives usually espouse a mild, center-left form of social democracy, and are usually identified with the intellectual elite and government/non-profit folks within the liberal movement.

    Third Way advocates, usually self-identified as "liberals" in the US (as opposed to "progressives"), follow a more conventional approach to politics, and are center, even center-right, in their ideology. They are actually a more recent outgrowth of American liberalism that took hold after the Reagan revolution, and are exemplified by Bill Clinton. They seem to think that the government's welfare-state system has reached is zenith (or as close as they can get), and now strive to implement small reforms to better the current system. It's usually conservative economic policy mixed with social liberalization. "Liberals" tend to be more identified with business-types, blue collar workers, and ethnic minorities within the liberal movement.

    On a side note, I think if Bill Clinton had started with the Third Way approach instead of seeming to adopt it in whole after the 1994 GOP takeover, and not fallen in with the whole Monica Lewinsky thing (which was still blown way out of proportion), he would probably have been viewed much more favorably by the conservative establishment and the general public, possibly nixing the whole 2000-2008 era (at least domestically).
    Last edited by TexanOkie; 19 Jul 2010 at 2:44 PM.

  3. #253
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TexanOkie View post
    From an outsider's perspective, it appears there are two factions within the American liberal sphere - self-labelled "progressives" and advocates of Third Way politics.

    The modern progressives draw much of their inspiration from the Progressive movement from the early 20th Century, though the tie is more in spirit, historically, than end goal. A great deal of the Progressive (early 20th Century version) agenda has become status quo in our government since the New Deal through the Great Society and even the Nixon presidency. Modern-day progressives usually espouse a mild, center-left form of social democracy, and are usually identified with the intellectual elite and government/non-profit folks within the liberal movement.

    Third Way advocates, usually self-identified as "liberals" in the US (as opposed to "progressives"), follow a more conventional approach to politics, and are center, even center-right, in their ideology. They are actually a more recent outgrowth of American liberalism that took hold after the Reagan revolution, and are exemplified by the Bill Clinton. They seem to think that the government's welfare-state system has reached is zenith (or as close as they can get), and now strive to implement small reforms to better the current system. It's usually conservative economic policy mixed with social liberalization. "Liberals" tend to be more identified with business-types, blue collar workers, and ethnic minorities within the liberal movement.

    On a side note, I think if Bill Clinton had started with the Third Way approach instead of seeming to adopt it in whole after the 1994 GOP takeover, and not fallen in with the whole Monica Lewinsky thing (which was still blown way out of proportion), he would probably have been viewed much more favorably by the conservative establishment and the general public, possibly nixing the whole 2000-2008 era (at least domestically).
    Some may quibble with the details, but I think this is a pretty fair assessment. In this scheme, I would place myself as a "progressive" and I'm fine with that label. I have to say that I haven't spent a lot of time examining why I have this sensibility or what the historical thread it relates to is. But you have given me some places to start. I did attend a Quaker high school and have taken that ethos to heart ever since (I occasionally go to Meeting, but I generally avoid organized religion, which is not to say I am unconcerned with spiritual or moral issues). I think that, along with the sentiments of my parents, both Protestants from Oklahoma that moved east where my father got a job at a university and where their worldview was broadened by interactions with folks of different religions, politics and nations, has informed my view as well. Oh, and I'm a Cancer. They say we're very compassionate....
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  4. #254
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    Some may quibble with the details...
    And rightfully so. I'm sure I don't have all the details right. But like I said, this assessment is from an outsider's perspective, so for those who post after, please don't beat me up too much.

  5. #255
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    One thing that I've always wondered - just what IS the left's ultimate goal? It seems like they are trying to have the government and its ruling elites take over and run everything (health care and banking/finance in the USA now) and wasting no time and effort to badmouth and try to destroy anyone who tries to oppose them - but then what?

    I can't sense any logical progression from there - other than to see the results of such activities in other places and times in history (nearly ALL of which have been total disasters).

    Mike
    In a nutshell, I would say the end goal is to have a political/economic system that takes the best of both capitalism and socialism. Basically, capitalism kept in check by proper and efficient government regulation, as opposed to the pure, free market capitalist system that created the mess we now have.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  6. #256
    Cyburbian Duke Of Dystopia's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    In a nutshell, I would say the end goal is to have a political/economic system that takes the best of both capitalism and socialism. Basically, capitalism kept in check by proper and efficient government regulation, as opposed to the pure, free market capitalist system that created the mess we now have.
    I'll second that!
    I can't deliver UTOPIA, but I can create a HELL for you to LIVE in :)DoD:(

  7. #257
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    The Shirley Sherrod Situation

    This whole issue is very, very sad - from the conservative website edited video, to Fox News slant, to Obama administration quick overreaction, to Fox News now contradicting itslef a day later. The political landscape in this country is so very tainted.

    http://blogs.tampabay.com/media/2010...g-america.html
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  8. #258
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    Could the ultimate goal perhaps be...responsible government? I don't know your own personal opinions on the particular issues you may be referring to, but I think what some people characterize as "government takeover" in certain areas is actually the reinstitution of regulations and oversight that had been removed by recent Republican administrations.

    Since Nixon and especially Reagan, I think the Republicans have been very successful at convincing the American public that any program that is government run is, by definition, dysfunctional and inefficient. I would suggest may not be the case and I definitely encourage people to question this assumption and also to look at cases and programs one-by-one instead of assuming that if the government is involved that it is a disaster (again, I'm not saying this is your opinion, but it is the opinion of many). In fact, so many have come to simply assume that this is true that they bristle at any suggestion that government become involved in anything.

    This attitude toward government-run activities has fueled the way for the removal of oversight and regulation in many areas. And in some cases, conservative interests have even underfunded or cut staff in a particular area of regulation and then, when the department is not up to the task, pointed the finger and said "see, the government can't do anything right." I would say the same is true of the mining and extractive services regulation changes during the Bush administration that allowed for more "cooperation" between the private and government bodies involved, resulting in rampant examples of corruption, kickbacks, lavish spending and sexual relations between regulators and employees of the companies they were supposed to regulate. Many of the documented cases, as I recall, directly led to the granting of drilling contracts int he Gulf. Again, conservative interests often point the finger to say that government run programs always fail. But, in fact, those same conservatives also created the situation that led to the failure. So, it can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    I'm not beyond recognizing that government run programs can function poorly and operate inefficiently. But I cannot accept that this is always the case across the board and so I think each department/area needs to be assessed on its own merit. Government programs can run well, efficiently and deliver services to the public that private interests cannot. Not in every area, but in some, I would say this is definitely the case. Health care, for example, is one place where personally, I feel private interests and corporate profit has intruded WAY too far and the result has been a dramatic curtailing of quality of life for many. We have the best medical technology and knowledge in the world, but our method of delivering that care has been a tragic mess. IMHO...
    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    In a nutshell, I would say the end goal is to have a political/economic system that takes the best of both capitalism and socialism. Basically, capitalism kept in check by proper and efficient government regulation, as opposed to the pure, free market capitalist system that created the mess we now have.
    Quote Originally posted by Duke Of Dystopia View post
    I'll second that!
    Since mgk920 asked the question, and we responded, I'm wondering if he has any follow up responses?

    He seems to have a habit of asking these questions, but then sometimes disappears when the question is answered. Almost as if he has no logical response. Hey Mike...........don't go disappearing on us!
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  9. #259
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    Since mgk920 asked the question, and we responded, I'm wondering if he has any follow up responses?

    He seems to have a habit of asking these questions, but then sometimes disappears when the question is answered. Almost as if he has no logical response. Hey Mike...........don't go disappearing on us!
    Hehehehehehe

    My thoughts on that are that of course, I want good, sound government with a good, sensible, logical and strictly limited set of fairly administered rules to live by, but it almost seems that the modern left wants to go far overboard, to the point of stifling those who simply want to live their lives, prosper and so forth by using an increasing morass of rules that make no sense other than to require that people be hired at their expense to administer them. Also, I see a lot of elitism from the ruling class of the left - "I got my advanced degree from (insert 'proper' school name here) and that makes me more learned, wise and *better* than you and thus able to best determine the proper course of your affairs", rather than "I started and successfully ran a profitable business from scratch, now with several hundred people who are gainfully employed by me to make, sell and service my popular products, and that gives me the *real life experience* needed to make the everyday decisions of (small 'g') governing".

    Right now, it seems almost like those now in power are relishing in a disturbing level of contempt, if not raw hatred, for those who, of their own effort and hard work, are simply trying to better themselves and their communities. This includes piling on mountains of punitive tax rules, including highly 'progressive' rate structures and the coming avalanche of 1099 form paperwork, plus other regulations, such as environmental rules, EEOC rules, local zoning laws and so forth - they all take massive amounts of time and effort to comply with and all of their related paperwork produces nothing of economic value. It is pretty much to the point where many who may otherwise have wanted to set out for themselves and pursue the American Dream are not even bothering to start - the hassles are just too great.

    Those are not good, sensible and logical rules.

    My sense is that there are many on the left now in power who truly want to sweep all of that private initiative and enterprise away and go in a pure 'statist' course where the (big 'G') Government at all levels is the be-all and end-all of every aspect of life and where the wise counsel of the ruling elites is the final word.

    Throughout World history, we have all too often seen where that ultimately leads - AND, I see nothing that says that the logical progression of what is coming from the current ruling left will be any different.



    Mike

  10. #260
    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    ^That's hard to respond to, so I'll just give you some advice. Never leave the US for any other even semi-developed country, be it Brazil, Canada, the Netherlands, China, Russia, South Africa, Singapore, Australia, or well, anywhere else, because you will be horrified at what you see.
    Two wrongs don't necessarily make a right, but three lefts do.

  11. #261
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    Also, I see a lot of elitism from the ruling class of the left - "I got my advanced degree from (insert 'proper' school name here) and that makes me more learned, wise and *better* than you and thus able to best determine the proper course of your affairs", rather than "I started and successfully ran a profitable business from scratch, now with several hundred people who are gainfully employed by me to make, sell and service my popular products, and that gives me the *real life experience* needed to make the everyday decisions of (small 'g') governing".
    This makes me think of another odd political ploy - elitists. Otherwise known as the successful or well educated. But it seems that some in R party (admittedly it is mostly the divisive talking heads) think that it is a bad thing to be "elitist". They ignore the business owner who got an advanced degree started a business did well and created jobs, but dismiss the college educated lawyer who happens to disagree with them as "elitist".

    Then it is always taken a step further because as Mike points out that these folks are portrayed as " learned, wise and *better* than you". Which they are learned. The wise and better than you is really just a way to try and marginalize what they stand for. Somewhat like being "more" American than someone else.

    R's want us to support the wealthy class. They want you to support the business owners. But somehow want you to believe that "elitism" is a negative thing. I have yet to meet a CEO that doesn't have a HUGE ego and consider themselves elite. This is what makes them successful. Their drive, education, and ability to be "better" than people at something.
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  12. #262
    Cyburbian Duke Of Dystopia's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    Hehehehehehe

    My thoughts on that are that of course, I want good, sound government with a good, sensible, logical and strictly limited set of fairly administered rules to live by, but it almost seems that the modern left wants to go far overboard, to the point of stifling those who simply want to live their lives, prosper and so forth by using an increasing morass of rules that make no sense other than to require that people be hired at their expense to administer them. Also, I see a lot of elitism from the ruling class of the left - "I got my advanced degree from (insert 'proper' school name here) and that makes me more learned, wise and *better* than you and thus able to best determine the proper course of your affairs", rather than "I started and successfully ran a profitable business from scratch, now with several hundred people who are gainfully employed by me to make, sell and service my popular products, and that gives me the *real life experience* needed to make the everyday decisions of (small 'g') governing".

    Right now, it seems almost like those now in power are relishing in a disturbing level of contempt, if not raw hatred, for those who, of their own effort and hard work, are simply trying to better themselves and their communities. This includes piling on mountains of punitive tax rules, including highly 'progressive' rate structures and the coming avalanche of 1099 form paperwork, plus other regulations, such as environmental rules, EEOC rules, local zoning laws and so forth - they all take massive amounts of time and effort to comply with and all of their related paperwork produces nothing of economic value. It is pretty much to the point where many who may otherwise have wanted to set out for themselves and pursue the American Dream are not even bothering to start - the hassles are just too great.

    Those are not good, sensible and logical rules.

    My sense is that there are many on the left now in power who truly want to sweep all of that private initiative and enterprise away and go in a pure 'statist' course where the (big 'G') Government at all levels is the be-all and end-all of every aspect of life and where the wise counsel of the ruling elites is the final word.

    Throughout World history, we have all too often seen where that ultimately leads - AND, I see nothing that says that the logical progression of what is coming from the current ruling left will be any different.



    Mike
    Boulderdash!

    Tell us, what environmental rules are silly and should be done away with. You seem to fancy yourself an expert, so tell us, what can be ejected from regulation?

    Tell us, what zoning rules are silly and should be eliminated?

    Give us a list of state regulations you think are worthless?

    Bah, you don't have the first clue. Its just crap you throw out there. You have no clue.
    I can't deliver UTOPIA, but I can create a HELL for you to LIVE in :)DoD:(

  13. #263
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    Right now, it seems almost like those now in power are relishing in a disturbing level of contempt, if not raw hatred, for those who, of their own effort and hard work, are simply trying to better themselves and their communities. This includes piling on mountains of punitive tax rules, including highly 'progressive' rate structures and the coming avalanche of 1099 form paperwork, plus other regulations, such as environmental rules, EEOC rules, local zoning laws and so forth - they all take massive amounts of time and effort to comply with and all of their related paperwork produces nothing of economic value. It is pretty much to the point where many who may otherwise have wanted to set out for themselves and pursue the American Dream are not even bothering to start - the hassles are just too great.
    The highlighted part is complete nonsense. A neighbor of mine has helped start 4 businesses in the last 18 months. Another neighbor of mine just yesterday helped start another business.

    While I would agree that there are some things that could be done to simplify current tax rules at all levels of government, I think it is a gross over generalization to claim that it is just too difficult to pursue the American Dream, and blame it on zoning end environmental rules. And the EEOC? Really? That's the problem?

    The problem is we (the collective we, as in all political parties, legislators and citizens) since 1980, have let corporate America run this country into the ground in pursuit of "profit". I firmly believe that the Republican party is more in bed with Wall Street than the Democratic Party, and that the "liberal left" has more solutions to the corporate libertarian bullshit that we find ourselves in today.
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  14. #264
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post


    Right now, it seems almost like those now in power are relishing in a disturbing level of contempt, if not raw hatred, for those who, of their own effort and hard work, are simply trying to better themselves and their communities. This includes piling on mountains of punitive tax rules, including highly 'progressive' rate structures and the coming avalanche of 1099 form paperwork, plus other regulations, such as environmental rules, EEOC rules, local zoning laws and so forth - they all take massive amounts of time and effort to comply with and all of their related paperwork produces nothing of economic value. It is pretty much to the point where many who may otherwise have wanted to set out for themselves and pursue the American Dream are not even bothering to start - the hassles are just too great.

    Those are not good, sensible and logical rules.



    Mike
    Yes, please enlighten us as to which of these regulations are not good, sensible and logical.

    Before you do, you might want to take a field trip to Indiana and talk to the people who have breathing problems because of the pollution. I might even loan you one of my inhalors that I have to keep with me at all times. While you are there, you might not want to eat any of the locally caught fish because of the pollution. There are limits even a healthy man is supposed to eat. If you have woman of child bearing years or a kid under the age of 15, they may not want to eat any of the fish, especially the bigger ones caught in rivers and streams. In general, it's not a good idea to eat the locally caught fish. I am really curious what you would have to say to the good folks of Indiana who have had to live with the effects of pollution. So again, please tell us what of the environmental regulations are not good.

    Btw, they are places that actually want zoning regulations. As for the EEOC regs, I've sat through enough of the training to realize how much of a problem it really is.

    While some of the regulations do go a little overboard, some don't go far enough. Again, talk to the people who actually benefit from the regs or have suffered from the lack of them.
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  15. #265
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    One thing that I've always wondered - just what IS the left's ultimate goal?
    To take all your hard earned money and give it to lazy people and minorities. Duh
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  16. #266
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    Hehehehehehe

    My thoughts on that are that of course, I want good, sound government with a good, sensible, logical and strictly limited set of fairly administered rules to live by
    Right and Left agree on this point.

    but it almost seems that the modern left wants to go far overboard
    This is a value statement that needs to be defined. What is overboard and from what perspective?

    by using an increasing morass of rules that make no sense other than to require that people be hired at their expense to administer them.
    I don't deny there are a ton of rules, but I think each party does their part to layer on the bureaucracy. Each new tax rule, whether to lower or raise taxes or create credits/deductions, etc adds paper work. If the border is to be secured, e-verify has to be widely implemented to stop those who still manage to get across illegally. That's additional paperwork. If we want to protect the nation from money laundering related to terrorism, we had to add paperwork. The list is long, but both parties are doing it and the only businesses which can easily absorb these costs are the very large corporations. It really hurts everyone else.

    Also, I see a lot of elitism from the ruling class of the left - "I got my advanced degree from (insert 'proper' school name here) and that makes me more learned, wise and *better* than you and thus able to best determine the proper course of your affairs", rather than "I started and successfully ran a profitable business from scratch, now with several hundred people who are gainfully employed by me to make, sell and service my popular products, and that gives me the *real life experience* needed to make the everyday decisions of (small 'g') governing".
    Which also smacks of elitism from anecdotal personal experience. Where have you seen articles or video clips of liberals using their education as a tool to trample? Where have we seen articles or video clips of conservatives using their experience and business know-how as tools to trample? I bet I can find examples of both.



    Right now, it seems almost like those now in power are relishing in a disturbing level of contempt, if not raw hatred, for those who, of their own effort and hard work, are simply trying to better themselves and their communities.
    Hatred is a powerful word. What actions or policies demonstrate hatred?

    This includes piling on mountains of punitive tax rules, including highly 'progressive' rate structures
    and the coming avalanche of 1099 form paperwork,
    I see that the change was included to prevent people from lying about business purchases for the tax deduction. I doubt you are pro-tax evasion, so I'm interested to know what different way this could've been handled. I don't disagree, the paperwork is going to suck.

    plus other regulations, such as environmental rules
    Have new ones gone into effect recently? I did a couple google searches and couldn't find any. The potential for new ones like cap and trade is there, but it's being debated.

    [quote[My sense is that there are many on the left now in power who truly want to sweep all of that private initiative and enterprise away and go in a pure 'statist' course where the (big 'G') Government at all levels is the be-all and end-all of every aspect of life and where the wise counsel of the ruling elites is the final word.[/quote]

    How does this rectify with recent events of BP? The ruling elites have allowed them to operate without penalty despite violation of those arduous regulations? BP didn't act in the best interests of the citizens of the USA, it acted in its own self interest.

    I feel there is a corporatocracy takeover occurring where corporations are using the government as their strong arm to tailor policy and law to favor them. Government will be the end-all, be-all but it will not be because of the power grab of some left-wing loonies, it'll be of the desires of powerful corporations to hold their power and influence. Corporations aren't evil, they just aren't social creatures. The only establish relationships when it can be exploited or mutually beneficial. The don't care about social responsibility, unless it'll cost them less money to act upon than not to. They have to make more money every year and exceed expectations every year. Why is not surprising that they seem to have such a bold role in policy making? Fortunes and influence depend upon it and they cannot loose it. Again, both parties are accomplice to this.

    Throughout World history, we have all too often seen where that ultimately leads
    Any extreme is frightening and we should do what we can to balance all aspects.

    Thanks for the response and I honestly would like to hear more of the things that cause you to feel that way. I'll do the same with my views.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  17. #267
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by boiker View post
    Thanks for the response and I honestly would like to hear more of the things that cause you to feel that way. I'll do the same with my views.
    Thank you for the point by point handling of this.

    He won't respond, unless it's in sweeping generalizations.

    But hey, that's the signature of right wing conservatives, trying to spread fear that the government is the problem, when in reality the USA is slowing becoming the The United Corporations of America, thanks to the free market capitalist nonsense espoused by the GOP.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  18. #268
    From a column in the Indianapolis Star by Matthew Tully:

    These days, even two senators crossing over on any big vote in D.C. counts as an example of bipartisanship. Of course, it's no surprise that Lugar is one of the few willing to put politics aside and not obsess over how each vote might affect the next election. A record of doing just that explains why even many people who don't agree with his positions hold him in the type of lofty regard that eludes most politicians.
    But Lugar has taken a few licks from so-called defenders of the conservative philosophy over his position on the nomination, a position that in more rational times wouldn't cause the slightest uproar.
    You can count this former-Republican among those holding Senator Lugar in lofty regard.

  19. #269
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    You can count this former-Republican among those holding Senator Lugar in lofty regard.
    I hope all my conservative brothers and sisters on this site are sitting down..... I always liked Lugar and voted for him when I lived there. He is a person who should have been president. Birch Bayh, Lee Hamilton and Lugar are some of the best politicians that Indiana has produced.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  20. #270
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    Thank you for the point by point handling of this.

    He won't respond, unless it's in sweeping generalizations.
    And that is stupid. I want to believe there is more than generalizations to any political view.

    There are conservatives on this board who would respond and have great reasons for their position.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  21. #271
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    Thank you for the point by point handling of this.

    He won't respond, unless it's in sweeping generalizations.
    and the lefties don't?



    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    But hey, that's the signature of right wing conservatives, trying to spread fear that the government is the problem, when in reality the USA is slowing becoming the The United Corporations of America, thanks to the free market capitalist nonsense espoused by the GOP.
    Actually, the way this forvm's software works makes it very difficult to counter-respond to a posting like that.

    Anyways, check where the BIGGEST corporate campaign donors (ie, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, many/most of the Wall Street elites and so forth) send their money. Democrats champion rules that make it very difficult for entrepreneurial businesses to grow to effectively compete against the BIG EVIL CORPORATIONS and for those families to stay in business for the long run (ie, see: 'Death Tax' - over time it works to eliminate the family-owned competitors of those big corporate conglomerates). Example, had George Steinbrenner died either in 2009 or earlier or 2011 or later, his heirs would have had no choice but to sell the Yankees in order to raise the cash needed to pay the death tax, rather than being able to keep them in the family. That tax, IMHO, is beyond immoral.

    The death tax has also been DISASTROUS to family farms (a huge percentage of which are valued well in excess of $1M), forcing them to sell out to raise the cash to pay that tax and again, favoring corporate conglomerate 'mega-farms'.

    When a large corporate shareholder dies, yes, his/her heirs will pay a death tax - BUT - the corporation continues on without skipping a beat. When Bill Gates passes on, Microsoft will continue on unimpeded.

    As for the looming 1099 avalanche, yes, it might bring in an additional $10-20G per year, but, at what cost to the economy? It is very possible that the compliance cost to the economy of that rule will be multiple times what it will bring in in additional revenue. I suspect that many smaller business guys will, over time, simply end up throwing up their hands, saying 'screw THIS!!' and/or be driven out of business due to these 1099 rules. For example, some coin dealers are estimating that they may have to fill out 10,000-20,000 1099s every year just on their normal trading in gold and silver coins - many of which trade at well over $600. And then, many of those individuals selling coins will be very leery, indeed, of providing their SSNs for those required 1099s for very legitimate identity-security reasons. LOOMING TRAINWRECK!

    OTOH, the BIG, EVIL CORPORATIONS will be able to do most of that 1099 work in-house.

    I can't help but sense that we are fast reaching a point where the income tax will no longer be viable as a method of raising revenue - it will be so top-heavy in compliance costs that will collapse under its own weight.

    I strongly support its repeal and replacement with a sales-based consumption tax.

    Mike
    Last edited by mgk920; 25 Jul 2010 at 2:45 PM.

  22. #272
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    The death tax has also been DISASTROUS to family farms (a huge percentage of which are valued well in excess of $1M), forcing them to sell out to raise the cash to pay that tax and again, favoring corporate conglomerate 'mega-farms'.



    I strongly support its repeal and replacement with a sales-based consumption tax.

    Mike
    I disagree with you often, but these are two points I strongly agree with you on. The Estate Tax in its previous form exempted portions of family farms - the form that will exist in 2011 does not. Which in turn will reek havoc on family farms and their future. I disagree with the Estate Tax in part because I don't think that working hard and "giving" that money to your heirs is wrong. If make $10m, I damn well want my kids to live a better life than I did. Why should the money I make get taxed again at such a rediculous rate. Take your 10% and be done. 55%.... really? Because no one deserves that much money? Just stupidity.

    I agree as well that our tax system is becoming more and more of a logistical nightmare. Although I don't know if it will get better with a sale-based tax (i.e. the Fair Tax) I think it couldn't be worse. We will have to keep the IRS people on as the prebate department, so even those jobs won't be "lost". I see very little downside to seeing what it would do to our economy.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  23. #273
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Hink_Planner View post
    The Estate Tax in its previous form exempted portions of family farms - the form that will exist in 2011 does not. Which in turn will reek havoc on family farms and their future.
    Needs to be fixed. Pronto.
    I disagree with the Estate Tax in part because I don't think that working hard and "giving" that money to your heirs is wrong. If make $10m, I damn well want my kids to live a better life than I did. Why should the money I make get taxed again at such a rediculous rate. Take your 10% and be done. 55%.... really? Because no one deserves that much money? Just stupidity.
    I decided it was worth exploring when the "death tax" was first instituted and why it was used. The tax was first used in 1797 to pay for naval bonds. I couldn't find details on thresholds. More interestingly, From 1916 through 1975 the tax was levied against estates valued over $50,000 in 1916 dollars. In current dollars that is $11 MILLION. The rate varied and topped out on estates valued in excess of $1 BILLION in today's dollars at 10%.
    http://www.heritage.org/Research/Rep...al-Perspective

    In my opinion, if the death tax is to remain, the bottom exemption needs to be bumped up miss the family businesses, small businesses and modest inheritances that upper-middle class and middle-class individual may desire to leave for their children. Also, rates should be adjusted to not be so punitive-- even for large estates.

    So why even have a death tax? One thing a high death tax and very large estates does is cause the money to be creatively allocated at death into trusts, charity, investments or tax shelters. Often, it is sheltered effectively and the small portion remaining becomes reinvested into a lower tax venture or spent into the economy. What I believe this does is help the country pay for war-time debts (as it had been used historically until the 1920s) and it helps prevent exceedingly wealthy and powerful families from accumulating generational wealth and using that power to influence policy (minimally helps, but helps).


    Although I don't know if it will get better with a sale-based tax (i.e. the Fair Tax) I think it couldn't be worse.
    Fair or Flat Taxes could be exceptionally regressive if a baseline exemption is not built in. A 10% tax on $100,000 is much easier for the earner to swallow than 10% on a $30,000 earner.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  24. #274
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by boiker View post
    Needs to be fixed. Pronto.


    I decided it was worth exploring when the "death tax" was first instituted and why it was used. The tax was first used in 1797 to pay for naval bonds. I couldn't find details on thresholds. More interestingly, From 1916 through 1975 the tax was levied against estates valued over $50,000 in 1916 dollars. In current dollars that is $11 MILLION. The rate varied and topped out on estates valued in excess of $1 BILLION in today's dollars at 10%.
    http://www.heritage.org/Research/Rep...al-Perspective

    In my opinion, if the death tax is to remain, the bottom exemption needs to be bumped up miss the family businesses, small businesses and modest inheritances that upper-middle class and middle-class individual may desire to leave for their children. Also, rates should be adjusted to not be so punitive-- even for large estates.

    So why even have a death tax? One thing a high death tax and very large estates does is cause the money to be creatively allocated at death into trusts, charity, investments or tax shelters. Often, it is sheltered effectively and the small portion remaining becomes reinvested into a lower tax venture or spent into the economy. What I believe this does is help the country pay for war-time debts (as it had been used historically until the 1920s) and it helps prevent exceedingly wealthy and powerful families from accumulating generational wealth and using that power to influence policy (minimally helps, but helps).
    Thus, like that dippy federal telephone tax that was recently dumped (it was set up to help pay the debts of the Spanish-American War), its original purpose was long ago consigned to the history books.

    Quote Originally posted by boiker View post
    Fair or Flat Taxes could be exceptionally regressive if a baseline exemption is not built in. A 10% tax on $100,000 is much easier for the earner to swallow than 10% on a $30,000 earner.
    The 'Fair Tax' proposal is essentially an all-encompassing sales tax on all retail-level sales of services and new goods (used goods would be exempt on the assumption that they will have already been taxed), including food, retail rents, clothing, medical care, etc, with a monthly rebate equal to the tax rate times the poverty level. Thus, spending up to the poverty level would be exempt from taxation and if you spend below the poverty level, you'll have an effective negative tax rate - rewarding saving, investing, hard work and thrift. Under the proposal, the rebates would be claimed by filing an annual 'family status' form with the SSNs of everyone in the family and those can be easily and quickly cross-checked (like the IRS already does on dependent exemption claims). The only penalty for not filing one = no rebates. Such a filing could be a five-minute task on line (compare that to doing a full 1040 with all of the schedules)

    Mike

  25. #275
    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    Anyways, check where the BIGGEST corporate campaign donors (ie, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, many/most of the Wall Street elites and so forth) send their money.
    The people that you mention are individuals, not corporations. Rich individuals, sure, but there is a HUGE difference between an individual donation and that of a corporation (though not in the eyes of the supreme court, it seems). Besides, there's pretty much no evidence to show that corporations give to one party more than the other - they spread the money around in order to maximize influence.

    Democrats champion rules that make it very difficult for entrepreneurial businesses to grow to effectively compete against the BIG EVIL CORPORATIONS and for those families to stay in business for the long run
    No argument here. I think you're kind of sidestepping the arguments that others were making though - it wasn't a discussion of corporate power vs small businesses - it was a discussion of corporate power vs the people (represented through government). Just like corporate donations going to both parties, I think it's pretty hard to argue that both parties don't champion measures that overwhelmingly help large corporations at the expense of small businesses.

    (ie, see: 'Death Tax' - over time it works to eliminate the family-owned competitors of those big corporate conglomerates). Example, had George Steinbrenner died either in 2009 or earlier or 2011 or later, his heirs would have had no choice but to sell the Yankees in order to raise the cash needed to pay the death tax, rather than being able to keep them in the family. That tax, IMHO, is beyond immoral.
    Ok, seriously? I think that there is a decent debate to be had about the morality and/or place in society for an estate tax, but throwing out hyperbole doesn't bolster your case. The Yankees are owned by a CORPORATION, and Steinbrenner was the majority owner of the corporation. If this was 2009 or 2011, there are about a dozen different ways that the estate could have been handled to avoid the family losing control of the Yankees.

    The death tax has also been DISASTROUS to family farms (a huge percentage of which are valued well in excess of $1M), forcing them to sell out to raise the cash to pay that tax and again, favoring corporate conglomerate 'mega-farms'.
    The estate tax doesn't exist in a vacuum. It's impossible to say that the estate tax has had a more meaningful impact on American small farmers than about a dozen other policies and market changes. Personally, I'd pin most of it on ag subsidies and broken immigration policies (for government influence), with the vast majority of the decline coming from basic market changes like automation, but that's just me.

    When a large corporate shareholder dies, yes, his/her heirs will pay a death tax - BUT - the corporation continues on without skipping a beat. When Bill Gates passes on, Microsoft will continue on unimpeded.
    Nearly every business is a "corporation" these days. I'm a roughly 20% owner of a corporation, but I hold 25% of the voting power (and own/work in a small business with fewer than 15 employees). My parents own and run a small business that is a corporation (with no other shareholders). The estate tax will apply to Bill Gates fortune the same as anyone else's - the difference is that he will most likely have given almost all of his away at that point, so there won't be much left (which is one of the arguments in favor of the estate tax - that it encourages charitable giving).

    As for the looming 1099 avalanche, yes, it might bring in an additional $10-20G per year, but, at what cost to the economy? It is very possible that the compliance cost to the economy of that rule will be multiple times what it will bring in in additional revenue. I suspect that many smaller business guys will, over time, simply end up throwing up their hands, saying 'screw THIS!!' and/or be driven out of business due to these 1099 rules. For example, some coin dealers are estimating that they may have to fill out 10,000-20,000 1099s every year just on their normal trading in gold and silver coins - many of which trade at well over $600. And then, many of those individuals selling coins will be very leery, indeed, of providing their SSNs for those required 1099s for very legitimate identity-security reasons. LOOMING TRAINWRECK!
    Not much different than some of the stuff that the Patriot bill included that required folks to document every cash transaction large than $5,000. I'd be all in favor of simplifying or changing the tax code, though I'd probably not be looking at "how will this affect coin dealers" as a place to start discussions

    OTOH, the BIG, EVIL CORPORATIONS will be able to do most of that 1099 work in-house.
    In-house doesn't equal free. Nevertheless, your point is valid.

    I can't help but sense that we are fast reaching a point where the income tax will no longer be viable as a method of raising revenue - it will be so top-heavy in compliance costs that will collapse under its own weight.
    ???

    What is this sense based on? I can't seem to find it now, but I remember reading a very good study a few years ago that measured the average time and expense of doing taxes for individuals over the past 40 years - it peaked in the early 90's and has been steadily heading down since then, because of the rise of Turbotax, H&R Block, etc. The code may be larger and larger and more complex year after year, but automation has rendered that issue moot (in large part).

    I strongly support its repeal and replacement with a sales-based consumption tax.
    I fail to see how a consumption tax would necessarily equal "harder to cheat" or "easier to comply with" (again, depends largely on the amount of automation that is allowed/encouraged/etc).

    That said, I too would prefer a progressively-structured VAT for all national funding, with land value tax for all state and local funding.
    Two wrongs don't necessarily make a right, but three lefts do.

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