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Br Cornelius

Trickle down economics is a lie, the proof !

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Frank Merton

It called representative democracy - an idea worth holding onto don't you think.

Br Cornelius

I think not, because it is a fantasy. The lawyers generally take over, and of course the organized special interests and the wealthy.

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spacecowboy342

I think not, because it is a fantasy. The lawyers generally take over, and of course the organized special interests and the wealthy.

Especially now that our supreme court has equated spending money with free speech.

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spacecowboy342

Supply side economics doesn't work because without demand supply is worthless. It isn't the 1%ers who are the job creators but a strong middle class spending money to stimulate the economy. And guess whose middle class's income has flatlined for the last couple of decades because of this insistence to make the rich richer.

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Br Cornelius

I think not, because it is a fantasy. The lawyers generally take over, and of course the organized special interests and the wealthy.

The point is that Representative Democracy seems to be the best we have. It maybe corrupted but if the citizenry take it seriously enough - the tools for correcting those corruptions are built in.

Br Cornelius

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Frank Merton

The corruptions don't get cured and over the generations the rot gets worse and worse until eventually you have a dynastic cycle. I think people should get some notion of these forces in Chinese history where all the noise of extraneous events does not cloud the natural trend of governments.

As you probably know I am happy with the single-party no-politics system in Vietnam, where the party seems to have found ways to prevent it falling into the hands of a Stalin or Pol Pot and keeps power in the hands of relatively faceless but competent bunch of committees.

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Br Cornelius

The point I am making is that having no Representative element begs to slide into despotism - and history shows thats the way it always ends.

People are easily manipulated - but that is no excuse for cutting them out of the function of Government.

It is the administrative branch (Civil services) duty to ensure continuity and that the basic constitutional provisions are adhered to.

We seem to have a particularly complacent and "stupid" electorate at the moment, but I believe that is a consequence of the relative period of luxury we have just emerged from. Hard times have a tendency to wake people up to the abuses of power they have been subjected to - and that is where representitive democracy comes into its own again and helps to correct the excesses of "comfortable" governments.

To me Representative democracy is the best of a bad bunch of possibilities - and I wouldn't trust the benign dictatorship you have in Vietnam to remain benign forever.

Br Cornelius

Edited by Br Cornelius

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Frank Merton

I don't think so and I think a lot of nations have had benign governments that were autocratic, or at least avoided democracy, in one way or another. Plenty of democratic governments have elected tyrants too.

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Br Cornelius

I think its a matter of opinion - but on this one I do not share yours.

Br Cornelius

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Space Commander Travis

i think the problem with the system of "Democratic" government, in the US & UK particularly, and the reason people conclude that democracy itself doesn't work, is not because the concept itself is basically flawed but because of the Party system, this idea that you have to vote for the bundle of ideas promoted by this lot or the other lot, and the only thing the parties are interested in is getting re-elected or getting elected in place of the current lot. I think that concept has had its day really, and completely stifles any boldness and means that nothing at all can ever be planned for the long term because they know that they won't be in power by then, so what's in it for them?.

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Frank Merton

There are several reforms I would propose for the States if it wishes to keep and improve its democracy. One would be to have open primaries where all candidates stand against each other regardless of party affiliation and then the two top vote getters stand against each other in a second round if necessary.

A second would be to remove all limits on individual campaign contributions but have stiff laws that the donations must be made immediately and fully public, with no hiding behind organizations or committees. Limits on campaign spending might be appropriate so long as they don't stifle anything. That is a tough one.

A third would be short and strict term limits and restrictions on relatives filling vacancies. I think in fact the best arrangement is with no such thing as "incumbents" but instead one term and out.

I would also think former military officers should be banned from holding office, as well as lawyers and former lawyers and relatives of people who have held a given office.

Failure to vote in a given election should require re-registration in person.

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Frank Merton

Let me add doing something about how the elective districts, both state and local, are drawn to eliminate gerrymandering.

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Phaeton80

The free market is one of the main facilitators of the fraudulent behaviour of the financial giants - having a devastating ripple effect throughout the West.

It is also one of the main reasons nearly all value added production of the USA (and those who follow her) is outsourced to low income countries, benefitting from adverse working conditions and ridiculous low pay (often also inducing environmental damage to be able to produce at lowest cost possible).

The free market is mainly advantageous to multinational corporations / big business. And there's the crux of the matter; government is not serving The People, it is serving Big Business. This is abundantly clear.

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Frank Merton

Free markets, if they are genuinely free, help developing countries. It is the import tariffs of the rich countries that hurt and true liberals should work to get removed.

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Br Cornelius

Free markets, if they are genuinely free, help developing countries. It is the import tariffs of the rich countries that hurt and true liberals should work to get removed.

That is a complex issue in of itself. Tariffs should be appropriate to the cost which have to be incurred. Hence if a developing country has no environmental controls - that represents a cost which they have avoided and the recieving country is more than within their rights to impose a tariff to prevent "dirty" goods coming in and out competing clean goods from the domestic market.

Secondly - only cheap oil/energy allows this vast range of transnational trading. Energy is under priced for the harm it does to people and the environment so transnational trading directly harms the environment by outsourcing cost onto the "commons". I feel that the very principle of "from the cheapest source" is a fundamental flaw of the market system because it causes these harms to the commons by default. I believe that all goods should be produced as close to their markets as possible. this would preclude rich countries dumping cheap commodities onto poor countries and would allow for tariffs to reflect the true costs to the commons. Domestic markets and employment would grow as a consequence. It was the colonial practice of dumping cheap good onto occupied countries which destroyed their economies in the first place. The same still occurs especially in the fields of fabrics and foodstuffs.

This whole sorry mess is based on - not valuing common humanity - ie allowing people to work for less than a living wage where ever it is in the world.

Not valuing the environment.

Not valuing dwindling resources and energy especially.

The flaws run very deep and why I say that tinkering at the edges with "socialist" solutions really do not address any of the core issues which are causing us to undermine ours survivability and quality of life on this planet.

Br Cornelius

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spartan max2

Free markets have some flaws but you cant deny that it revolutionized everyone standards of living throughout history. All you have to do is look at the U.S.S.R, China North Korea Cuba etc. Worldwide the standard of living has risen everywhere from free markets. Sure some protections for workers need to be put in place at times.

We all enjoy our first world lives because of free markets. No one can ignore that :innocent:. All free markets mean is voluntary trade, letting everyone work to their full potential and reap the rewards is what rose society as a whole.

Edited by spartan max2
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F3SS

There are several reforms I would propose for the States if it wishes to keep and improve its democracy. One would be to have open primaries where all candidates stand against each other regardless of party affiliation and then the two top vote getters stand against each other in a second round if necessary.

A second would be to remove all limits on individual campaign contributions but have stiff laws that the donations must be made immediately and fully public, with no hiding behind organizations or committees. Limits on campaign spending might be appropriate so long as they don't stifle anything. That is a tough one.

A third would be short and strict term limits and restrictions on relatives filling vacancies. I think in fact the best arrangement is with no such thing as "incumbents" but instead one term and out.

I would also think former military officers should be banned from holding office, as well as lawyers and former lawyers and relatives of people who have held a given office.

Failure to vote in a given election should require re-registration in person.

Frank that reminded me of a post I made last year so I went back and found it to share again. The only thing I might have to disagree with is who you say shouldn't be allowed to run for office. I think I see your logic but first they are people and citizens and anyone ought to be able to run and second that would invite a slew of unelected lawyers and military advisers to be running the country. Just a thought. Anyhow, the post I wanted to share, I think we are basically on the same page.

Parties just aren't good enough. I'm inclined to say that republicans are most likely to represent my line of thinking and most people vote based on similar feelings whichever way they vote. It just isn't true though. The spectrum is too broad from the Paul's, McCain to the guy who made some comment about rape babies during the election last year. They're all in the same party but their views are as wide and varied as anything and I only like one of those names but if all those guys were up for election in different offices for one state most people would pull the lever for all three even though they aren't close to the same in how they'd govern.

I think party labels ought to go. Without them people would be forced to take a better look at who they are voting for rather than voting along party lines and officials would be elected based on the best ideals. Sure there will still be the Obama's out there who may gain cult followings due to sales pitches and feel good mantras but after a term in office (not just presidents) they'd be re-elected, or not, based on accomplishment and merit and with the lack of an entire party backing and endorsing it'd be almost entirely up to the incumbent to get his/her own damn votes. Of course, there could still be endorsing by other politicians but not so unanimously. Lobbyists could still exist but they'd have to be more careful who they back and there'd be more lobbyists backing a far wider variety of ideals rather than a few popular party faces. Combine these things with term limits and there'd be a constant influx of new fresh faces and ideas and a nation of voters who pay attention to who's who and what's going on. Without term limits corruption ensues and parties form because what happens is in time groups will form based on a few specific ideologies and with enough time those groups become larger and more polarized against each other and viola, a party has formed. With term limits there just isn't enough time for long time good 'ol boy cliques to form and contrive ill conceived schemes and influence naive freshmen with good intentions.

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Br Cornelius

Free markets have some flaws but you cant deny that it revolutionized everyone standards of living throughout history. All you have to do is look at the U.S.S.R, China North Korea Cuba etc. Worldwide the standard of living has risen everywhere from free markets. Sure some protections for workers need to be put in place at times.

We all enjoy our first world lives because of free markets. No one can ignore that :innocent:. All free markets mean is voluntary trade, letting everyone work to their full potential and reap the rewards is what rose society as a whole.

Most of us live in highly regulated social democracies and that is where most of the social benefits have accrued from. I wouldn't deny that the "free market" model is an important component of the mix, but its just a component.

What I object to is the notion that if the controls on the free market were removed - we would automatically live in a better world. That is a faith based position based on little evidence or examples.

Br Cornelius

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Space Commander Travis

Free markets have some flaws but you cant deny that it revolutionized everyone standards of living throughout history. All you have to do is look at the U.S.S.R, China North Korea Cuba etc. Worldwide the standard of living has risen everywhere from free markets. Sure some protections for workers need to be put in place at times.

We all enjoy our first world lives because of free markets. No one can ignore that :innocent:. All free markets mean is voluntary trade, letting everyone work to their full potential and reap the rewards is what rose society as a whole.

really? I think a lot of people in the First World would like the chance to work to their full potential (unless you really do believe that the unemployed are just workshy scroungers and "there's plenty of jobs out there if they just go out and look"), but their jobs have been outsourced to China where it's so much cheaper more efficient. What's "voluntary" about it? And meanwhile are those in China or sweatshops in Bangladesh welcoming the chance to be able to work to their full potential?

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spartan max2

really? I think a lot of people in the First World would like the chance to work to their full potential (unless you really do believe that the unemployed are just workshy scroungers and "there's plenty of jobs out there if they just go out and look"), but their jobs have been outsourced to China where it's so much cheaper more efficient. What's "voluntary" about it? And meanwhile are those in China or sweatshops in Bangladesh welcoming the chance to be able to work to their full potential?

and these "sweat shops" in china are greatly appreciated by the population believe it or not they actually want them. Compared to the standards of living in these countries the pay is above average. Multinational companies also tend to pay more then the domestic companies. It raises the populations standard of living, as the standard of living rises the work hours will lesson and conditions will become safer ( be it from government law, companies or unions)

I know this sounds blasphemous to most people but these "sweat shops" are not some total evil exploitation, despite what the propaganda wants to tell you. Obviously some of them have some messed up conditions that need to be regulated. I know business people that work in these countries and they always point out to people who complain about sweatshops that most people do not realize how much their business improves the nations standard of living and economy.

Most places free markets have gone, have raised the standard of living. There are booms and bust cycles but that will probably always be a thing

Read these studies

"Apparel workers in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras, and Nicaragua earn 3 to 7 times the national average."

http://www.independe...cle.asp?id=1369

"The apparel industry has been widely criticized for “exploiting” Third World workers in sweatshops, but the data show that these workers are better off than most people in their countries"

Edited by spartan max2

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spartan max2

And yes people can go to their full potential here. If Steve jobs was born in Haiti he would not of had the opportunity to do anything. The same with many of innovators in our world. Henry Ford started with none thing and made everything. Unlike back when only aristocrats where able to discover and create.

Its not that the chance does not exist it is just that people want it handed to them. In today's time we have the ability to get a job get a loan go to school or a trade job and do whatever occupation you choose. It is not always easy, no.Many of the "famous" rich people we hear about failed many times before they succeeded. A long time ago you where stuck doing the job your parents did, now we do not have to do that. No everyone is not going to be some big CEO but here you actually have the chance to try if you so choose.

Edited by spartan max2
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F3SS

What I object to is the notion that if the controls on the free market were removed - we would automatically live in a better world. That is a faith based position based on little evidence or examples.

Nobody ever really calls for that. That's something you inject upon people who disagree with your radical positions.

Edited by F3SS

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spacecowboy342

Free markets, if they are genuinely free, help developing countries. It is the import tariffs of the rich countries that hurt and true liberals should work to get removed.

We need tariff because American workers can't afford to work as cheaply as people in 3rd world sweat shops

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Frank Merton

Tariffs is basically a way for first world workers to keep their salaries higher, and so keep poor countries poor. lt is selfish and even, I think, evil. It also keeps the standard of living for the general population of a rich country lower than it would otherwise be.

Workers in third world countries are not as productive as in first world countries, for a variety of reasons including health and infrastructure and education. These things will never equalize so long as rich countries continue to be so greedy. If tariffs and quotas and all that were removed in a few years employment costs would adjust and workers in rich countries would no longer have this problem and everyone around the world would be better off with resources flowing naturally to where they are most efficiently used.

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Frank Merton

Frank that reminded me of a post I made last year so I went back and found it to share again. The only thing I might have to disagree with is who you say shouldn't be allowed to run for office. I think I see your logic but first they are people and citizens and anyone ought to be able to run and second that would invite a slew of unelected lawyers and military advisers to be running the country. Just a thought. Anyhow, the post I wanted to share, I think we are basically on the same page.

The reason I would prevent former military officers from holding office derives from historical experience, although former military officers as President in the US has worked out in the past, I just think it is too dangerous. The reason I would ban members of the legal profession is simply that otherwise they will dominate.

I think it is reasonable to have rules in a democracy as to who can hold office and who cannot. You already no doubt have age rules and criminal history rules and citizenship rules (although the one in the US Constitution about "natural born citizens," or something like that, strikes me as a slap at immigrants that serves no purpose except to rule out outstanding immigrants).

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spacecowboy342

Tariffs is basically a way for first world workers to keep their salaries higher, and so keep poor countries poor. lt is selfish and even, I think, evil. It also keeps the standard of living for the general population of a rich country lower than it would otherwise be.

Workers in third world countries are not as productive as in first world countries, for a variety of reasons including health and infrastructure and education. These things will never equalize so long as rich countries continue to be so greedy. If tariffs and quotas and all that were removed in a few years employment costs would adjust and workers in rich countries would no longer have this problem and everyone around the world would be better off with resources flowing naturally to where they are most efficiently used.

But in this country prices are too high to afford to work for what 3rd world workers make. This leads to all American companies to move their operations to the third world to exploit cheap labor and puts us in the mess we are in. It's not about greed but survival of American workers.
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