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Author Topic: Balanced Budget Amendment  (Read 6122 times)

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Online AndyZTopic starter

Re: Balanced Budget Amendment
« Reply #50 on: August 03, 2011, 12:04:36 PM »
You didn't answer my subsidy question.  I guess you don't know the answer either.  If anyone does, please enlighten me, because it's confused me for some time.

Tobacco companies have no problem killing their customers.  Sure, in a perfect world, we would like to think that Big Business would seek to be sustainable, benefit the world and make a profit.  I do not think that actually plays out in the real world.

In this day and age, it's very difficult to argue that people are unaware of the health risks associated with smoking.  Many, many people have brought forth lawsuits against the tobacco companies because of it.  From my understanding, and this may be wrong, the only reason that tobacco companies aren't currently run into the ground from the lawsuits is because they made a deal with the government to stay in business.  If the government had not been corrupt enough to do so, they would have gone under.

I posit that it is indeed profitable to be ethical, if only because of the press and lawsuits.  The lack of people buying Toyota is a prime example.

This can be countered by the debate of that car which found out that it had a problem, did the math and found out that A+B+C<X.  If you saw Fight Club, you know the one that I mean, but I can explain further if not.  However, even that is not safe from publicity and lawsuits, because once people found out about this, not only did they stop buying from them, but the lawsuit payoffs jumped tremendously.

I think that is rather na´ve thinking.  First of all, I would agree that big government, corporations can wield a great deal of power.  Where does that power come from?  Money.  Without big government, corporations can still acquire (and possibly more easily) money.  Small government does not impede their power.  With a small government, there is just one less person to buy off.

The problem with that is that, as I see it, the power which money buys is pretty much all political.  What else are you spending money on besides bribes in order to get power?


P.S.  Thanks for giving me a fun discussion!  Most people have given up on me by this point.

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Balanced Budget Amendment
« Reply #51 on: August 05, 2011, 09:27:57 PM »
You do not think that large corporations would buy out the press, bribe judges and hire the best (and most expensive) attorneys?

When was the last time Microsoft produced a truly innovative operating system?  Yet, how many times have we had to upgrade in the last 10 years?  It has been far more profitable for them to make minor tweaks and use their influence to push people into upgrading every few years than to actually make advances.

Several of the major car companies recently agreed to President Obama's request to produce more fuel efficient vehicles.  Why didn't they do that years ago?  I seem to recall stories many years back of breakthroughs that would allow 50 MPG and then nothing.

I agree that a company can be profitable and ethical but I do not trust them not to reach for greater profit by cutting out the ethics.

Online AndyZTopic starter

Re: Balanced Budget Amendment
« Reply #52 on: August 06, 2011, 06:51:15 AM »
You do not think that large corporations would buy out the press, bribe judges and hire the best (and most expensive) attorneys?

If they could buy out the press, I would imagine that they would have already done so.  It simply makes more money to have stories about people than it would be to be bought off.  I'm sure Taco Bell would have loved to have had that story quieted up about the amount of beef, for example.

As for bribing judges, that's already part of the government.  You're suggesting that we need someone to watch the watchers.  The problem with that is that we already have people who should watch the waters and are corrupt.  Would you suggest having people who watch the people who watch the watchers?  Where does that end?

Lawyers I'll definitely grant you.  Our law system is completely messed up.  However, the law system is only being made worse by the government in my opinion.

When was the last time Microsoft produced a truly innovative operating system?  Yet, how many times have we had to upgrade in the last 10 years?  It has been far more profitable for them to make minor tweaks and use their influence to push people into upgrading every few years than to actually make advances.

I think this gets into the crux of what I'm trying to say.  I don't own Windows 7.  My desktop still runs XP, which works just fine.  I have an iPhone 3 which I picked up for cheap when the 4 came out.  They can plug stuff all they want, but nobody has to actually buy anything that they don't want to.

Compare that to the most recent health care bill where I get fined if I don't buy something.  I think it's $2500 a month if I don't want health insurance.

This goes hand in hand with the concept of a monopoly.  Monopolies are bad; I doubt I have to explain this.  Yet everything the government makes ends up being a monopoly one way or another in that area.  If you don't like the public school system, you can't just find another one in the area like how you can move to Apple Computers or switch to another private school.

Several of the major car companies recently agreed to President Obama's request to produce more fuel efficient vehicles.  Why didn't they do that years ago?  I seem to recall stories many years back of breakthroughs that would allow 50 MPG and then nothing.

I lack information on this one and sadly don't have time to research it before I'm out the door today.  However, I'm curious if it was truly a "request" or if it was forced through some sort of regulation.

Heading out for now.  Talk to you later.

Offline Will

Re: Balanced Budget Amendment
« Reply #53 on: August 06, 2011, 09:55:53 AM »
This goes hand in hand with the concept of a monopoly.  Monopolies are bad; I doubt I have to explain this.  Yet everything the government makes ends up being a monopoly one way or another in that area.  If you don't like the public school system, you can't just find another one in the area like how you can move to Apple Computers or switch to another private school.

If there are private schools, then education isn't really a monopoly, is it?  In practice, most people don't really have the choice to go to a (typically expensive) private school, but it's still a poor example of your point.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Balanced Budget Amendment
« Reply #54 on: August 06, 2011, 10:56:57 AM »
Re: education, there's also a growing homeschool movement, and things like k12.com - which is tuition-free online schooling.  (It's available in Ohio, and probably other states as well.)

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Balanced Budget Amendment
« Reply #55 on: August 06, 2011, 04:35:28 PM »
If they could buy out the press, I would imagine that they would have already done so.

Oh there is one outlet they did not buy, they simply manufactured.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Balanced Budget Amendment
« Reply #56 on: August 07, 2011, 06:49:01 PM »
If they could buy out the press, I would imagine that they would have already done so.  It simply makes more money to have stories about people than it would be to be bought off.  I'm sure Taco Bell would have loved to have had that story quieted up about the amount of beef, for example.


Taco Bell is a piss-poor company with no resources.

Why do you think DuPont, BASF, Boeing, McDonnell-Douglass and General Electric purchase general brand advertising, when what they sell to consumers is a pathetically small fraction of their business? Some companies do it through their subsidiaries - all those Bounty ads aren't just about paper. It's Koch Industries' way of keeping the media quiet about its main line of income.

You aren't their customer, rather, they are the media's customer. The same is true of any major ad-driven apparatus. You aren't a customer, to them, to most large website owners, etc. You are a product, openly bought and sold on the market.

Online AndyZTopic starter

Re: Balanced Budget Amendment
« Reply #57 on: August 08, 2011, 12:40:48 PM »
If there are private schools, then education isn't really a monopoly, is it?  In practice, most people don't really have the choice to go to a (typically expensive) private school, but it's still a poor example of your point.

Fair enough.  It's not the strict definition of a monopoly.  However, I feel that many of the problems still apply.  With multiple companies, you can pick and choose, but unless you can afford either to move or buy private schools, you're rather stuck.

When there's only one choice for something, it's much easier for the people running it to slack off.  If we compare this to competing businesses, like Pepsi and Coke, both have to keep doing a good job or else people will just quit buying from the crappy one.

Re: education, there's also a growing homeschool movement, and things like k12.com - which is tuition-free online schooling.  (It's available in Ohio, and probably other states as well.)

I'm at least glad that they're doing something in that regard.

Oh there is one outlet they did not buy, they simply manufactured.

Fox does have a Republican bias, but MSNBC and others have a Democrat bias.  Personally, I feel that you have to watch both in order to get the full picture, in the same way that you want to get more than one side to any story.

You haven't given any comment on my other hypotheses, though.  Am I correct?

Taco Bell is a piss-poor company with no resources.

Why do you think DuPont, BASF, Boeing, McDonnell-Douglass and General Electric purchase general brand advertising, when what they sell to consumers is a pathetically small fraction of their business? Some companies do it through their subsidiaries - all those Bounty ads aren't just about paper. It's Koch Industries' way of keeping the media quiet about its main line of income.

You aren't their customer, rather, they are the media's customer. The same is true of any major ad-driven apparatus. You aren't a customer, to them, to most large website owners, etc. You are a product, openly bought and sold on the market.

Taco Bell is a piss-poor company with no resources.

Why do you think DuPont, BASF, Boeing, McDonnell-Douglass and General Electric purchase general brand advertising, when what they sell to consumers is a pathetically small fraction of their business? Some companies do it through their subsidiaries - all those Bounty ads aren't just about paper. It's Koch Industries' way of keeping the media quiet about its main line of income.

You aren't their customer, rather, they are the media's customer. The same is true of any major ad-driven apparatus. You aren't a customer, to them, to most large website owners, etc. You are a product, openly bought and sold on the market.

Can I get some more information on general brand advertising, please?  I'm not familiar with all this.

I'm certainly not going to argue about problems with General Electric, which from what I've heard, pays no taxes and is arm in arm with the government.  If what I've heard is true, then it's more proof that big government only aids big business because both are corrupt.  This said, the options are either to try to make government bigger by setting up someone to watch the person who watches the watcher, or to shrink government power back down so that big business isn't abusing it.  Since setting up someone to watch the watcher (the law enforcement) hasn't worked, setting up someone to watch the watchers of the watchers isn't going to work either.

Is all this correct?

Offline Oniya

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Re: Balanced Budget Amendment
« Reply #58 on: August 08, 2011, 01:39:18 PM »
If I'm not mistaken, general brand advertising is where you advertise a company, rather than the products that the company sells.  One that I've seen recently is the 'LG - Life's Good' campaign.  Another (that Veks alluded to) was BASF's campaign of 'We don't make the things you buy - we make the things you buy better.'  Some folks might remember 'GE, we bring good things to light.'

Offline Will

Re: Balanced Budget Amendment
« Reply #59 on: August 08, 2011, 07:31:26 PM »
Fair enough.  It's not the strict definition of a monopoly.  However, I feel that many of the problems still apply.  With multiple companies, you can pick and choose, but unless you can afford either to move or buy private schools, you're rather stuck.

When there's only one choice for something, it's much easier for the people running it to slack off.  If we compare this to competing businesses, like Pepsi and Coke, both have to keep doing a good job or else people will just quit buying from the crappy one.

Okay, we'll say it's a monopoly.  So what?  There are times when a monopoly is a positive thing.  It's just such a loaded word that people tend to break it out when they want to demonize some specific target.  If you really think that education is a monopoly, and that all monopolies are bad, shouldn't we abolish free national K-12 education?  We already make people choose between eating regularly and going to the doctor.  Should we really add getting a basic education into that mix?

I'm just trying to demonstrate that getting the government completely out of our lives is no more sensible than having the government dictate every aspect of our lives.  Sweeping statements like "governments can't do anything right" are just an attempt to swing from one extreme to another.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2011, 07:33:45 PM by Will »

Online AndyZTopic starter

Re: Balanced Budget Amendment
« Reply #60 on: August 09, 2011, 10:18:03 PM »
If I'm not mistaken, general brand advertising is where you advertise a company, rather than the products that the company sells.  One that I've seen recently is the 'LG - Life's Good' campaign.  Another (that Veks alluded to) was BASF's campaign of 'We don't make the things you buy - we make the things you buy better.'  Some folks might remember 'GE, we bring good things to light.'

Thanks.  I never did get this concept of advertising.  Maybe it works on some people, but to me it always felt like trying to pay people to be your friend.  Like, I know various game companies rock, but if they don't mention a game is coming out, and I'm not keeping up, I'm not going to know to buy it.

Okay, we'll say it's a monopoly.  So what?  There are times when a monopoly is a positive thing.  It's just such a loaded word that people tend to break it out when they want to demonize some specific target.  If you really think that education is a monopoly, and that all monopolies are bad, shouldn't we abolish free national K-12 education?  We already make people choose between eating regularly and going to the doctor.  Should we really add getting a basic education into that mix?

I'm just trying to demonstrate that getting the government completely out of our lives is no more sensible than having the government dictate every aspect of our lives.  Sweeping statements like "governments can't do anything right" are just an attempt to swing from one extreme to another.

Are these really our only two options, though?  I would hope there's more options out there than to do nothing and to fall to anarchy.  There has to be something in between.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Balanced Budget Amendment
« Reply #61 on: August 09, 2011, 10:59:16 PM »
Thanks.  I never did get this concept of advertising.  Maybe it works on some people, but to me it always felt like trying to pay people to be your friend.  Like, I know various game companies rock, but if they don't mention a game is coming out, and I'm not keeping up, I'm not going to know to buy it.

The idea is that if you're off shopping for, say, a washing machine, most people look for a brand they recognize.  It's not a conscious thing, but if you've seen the brand-ads, you might see the LG logo and get that subconscious tweak of 'Life's Good'.  It's sort of like that whole Ford/Chevy dichotomy.  *doesn't really get that either*

Online AndyZTopic starter

Re: Balanced Budget Amendment
« Reply #62 on: August 09, 2011, 11:15:16 PM »
The idea is that if you're off shopping for, say, a washing machine, most people look for a brand they recognize.  It's not a conscious thing, but if you've seen the brand-ads, you might see the LG logo and get that subconscious tweak of 'Life's Good'.  It's sort of like that whole Ford/Chevy dichotomy.  *doesn't really get that either*

Sounds like a waste of money to me, but I guess it's their money to waste.

Personally, I still remember driving to a girl's house for a date as a teenager and having my Ford car emitting white smoke from under the hood.  I have no opinion on the Chevy, but my mind is quite made up on the Ford.

Offline Will

Re: Balanced Budget Amendment
« Reply #63 on: August 09, 2011, 11:49:47 PM »
Are these really our only two options, though?  I would hope there's more options out there than to do nothing and to fall to anarchy.  There has to be something in between.

Well, yeah.  That's what I'm getting at.  I think situations should be judged one by one, to decide how/if the government should get involved.  Indiscriminately throwing blanket statements and rhetoric at every issue doesn't really solve anything.

Online AndyZTopic starter

Re: Balanced Budget Amendment
« Reply #64 on: August 10, 2011, 09:30:31 PM »
Well, yeah.  That's what I'm getting at.  I think situations should be judged one by one, to decide how/if the government should get involved.  Indiscriminately throwing blanket statements and rhetoric at every issue doesn't really solve anything.

Well, it's off topic, but we can discuss it.  What can we do to fix the modern school system?

I think that there needs to be a way to reward good teachers and reprimand/fire bad ones without the use of "rubber rooms" or similar methods.  I don't believe that simply throwing more money at the problem, as many politicians are wont to do, will really solve anything.