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Author Topic: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)  (Read 3841 times)

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Offline JudeTopic starter

What's going to happen October 15th you ask?  Global protests.

I can't say I understand clearly how this movement is interconnected with Occupy Wallstreet (whether one spawned the other or if there was originally a synergistic relationship going on), but I know that "official" Occupy Wallstreet website has thrown its support behind them and essentially is going to take part in these protests.  A lot of the rhetoric is much the same as the Occupy Wallstreet movement, especially the bit they reposted for them.  They've co-opted a page from the Tea Party's by trying to sound like a non-partisan group with clips like this:
Quote
It's not any more about parties, organizations or unions. The call should come from all of the organizations and from the people of the world like you
But a cursory examination of their beliefs exposes them to be rather ideologically left-leaning and extreme, if not deeply naive and ignorant.  This is their document I will be taking selections from:  http://takethesquare.net/2011/09/24/15th-october-whats-the-plan-15oct/

Lets kick this off with my favorite quote of populist arrogance from this document:
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And that fundamental issue that lie behind all the other problems is that we, the people of the world, are not deciding what the world should be. If we could, most of these problems would just disappear.
Yep, the problems in the world only exist because the ruling class isn't listening to the wisdom of the average person; sounds nice, doesn't it?  We could all live in a wonderful utopia if only the people were the ones making the decision.  Of course, embedded in this is the assumption that the populace is always right; that the people have a political system in mind that would be far better than the one we currently have.  Only 34% of 'the people,' in the United States for instance, actually know that TARP was passed by Bush, and yet somehow I'm supposed to believe that the fundamental problem we're facing is that we're not listening to the wisdom of the masses despite the fact that the nations in which these protests are largely taking place are already Democracies?

Pretending that Democracy has been subverted and corrupted so that the people's wishes are not expressed gives us the ability to deny responsibility for the consequences of our voting habits.  This is the same rhetoric that the Tea Party has used, only repurposed with a new villain in mind.  Where the Tea Party blamed government bureaucracy, debt, and spending for the stifling of freedom and Democracy, OWS and O15 blames private interests.  Who's really to blame?  Lets ask Steny Hoyer.
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The American people have every right to be angry [and] disappointed by the performance of the Congress.  Of course, the American people have also elected people with hard stances.  Many people voted for people who thought compromise was not something that they ought to participate in.  If elections have consequences — which I think they do — some of those consequences are getting what you vote for.
It's refreshing to see a politician actually blame something on the American People for once instead of rushing to get on his knees to kiss some populist ass.  Ask yourself a very simple question:  have you voted for someone with principles that they refuse to compromise on?  Maybe abortion or a certain environmental policy is the cornerstone of your political ideology and you were looking for a representative who would never, ever given even an inch on those issues.  Yes, those issues are of tantamount importance to you, and justifiably so in your own mind, but then think about your ideological opponents in the culture and imagine that they looked for their own mirror image in a politician:  someone who was adamantly pro-life and a global warming denier.  We send both of these people to congress at different times and expect them to get along, then we're surprised they don't?  We don't elect people for their ability to solve problems in America, we elect people based on their ability to agree with us; sycophancy should not be a test for political fitness.

Moving on to discuss a few other places in the world, O15 says:
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That’s the main idea that is behind all mobilizations in Egypt, Tunisia, Spain, Greece, Iceland, Israel, USA, … We want to decide what our countries should be, instead of dictators, markets, or governments that do not listen to the people. And once we get back the power we will find the specific answers to our problems, probably different from one country to another. That very basic, but powerful idea led us to two main contents for 15O:
The idea that the USA is even remotely comparable to Egypt or Tunisia is laughable.  We don't even have a similar situation to Greece, where the problem truly is social spending running an unsustainable course.  Here we have a problem with a lack of regulation and the rules tipped slightly in favor of the rich.  Yes, they own 40% of the nation's wealth (according to calculations which ignore the value of a person's home, which would otherwise skew the numbers interestingly enough -- plus this is post-recession and it was quite different pre-recession), but there are certain statistics that are completely ignored by "I just want the rich to pay their fair share" types as well.  For example, the top 1% pays 38% of Federal Income Taxes and makes 20% of our national income while the bottom 50% pays 2.7% of Federal Income Tax and makes 12.75% of the Income; so the ultra-rich are already paying a metric fuckton more than than everyone else even based on pure percentages (to the tune of an almost 200% ratio of their income versus federal tax burden, whereas the poor pay less than 25% of theirs).

However, our economic reality being as starkly negative as it is, this doesn't mean that we can afford not to raise taxes on corporations and the ultra-rich, it just means that doing so is more of a "hey we're in trouble please help us out" and less of a "you greedy assholic fucks, gives us your cash or we'll kill you."  So much of what is wrong about OWS and O15 isn't really the basic takeaways of these movements (corporations have too much influence, the rich are too powerful, the economic disparity in this country is ridiculous) as much as it is the solutions on how to fix this and the empirical explanations of the problem.  And a lot of it comes down to tone.  Of course, O15 was nice enough to provide more documents to peruse on their website about this situation, which further extrapolate on what they want:  http://15october.net/how-we-see-it/nothing-to-lose-everything-to-win/

Here's where they finally admit their ideological leanings:
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. Faced with this material and existential precarity we demand the democratization of the economic system  and European governance.  This will allow the construction of a new economic model of social welfare based on two aspects: the guarantee of an unconditional access to income (basic income for everybody) and the effective and free access to social rights and common wealth (education, health care, housing, knowledge, environment).
That's right, O15 wants the government to provide housing, education, healthcare, and "basic income."  They're also (unsurprisingly) opposed to austerity measures and they want amnesty for illegal aliens across the board.  Essentially, they are radically liberal in every way imaginable.  And yet they claim to be beyond party, and their sister organization OWS represents the 99%?

If you think this doesn't reflect on OWS as much as O15, I think you're somewhat right.  They don't seem as extreme, but what do they want?  Conveniently, they have a list of demands they're working on:  http://occupywallst.org/forum/proposed-list-of-demands-please-help-editadd-so-th/

I'll give you cliffnotes and a summation of the problems with each. They want:

*  More financial regulation.
*  People on Wall Street prosecuted on the basis of "consensus" not evidence (and provide no argument or evidence on what was done illegally).
* To bring back the Equal Time rule (which will be used to castrate talk radio which is predominantly Republican).
* Citizens United overturned, which is a limit on how corporations can spend their money dueto the supposed power of advertising.
* Massive tax increases on the rich and corporations (50s and 60s levels -- this is tantamount to corporate deportation given how insane those rates would be today)
* More regulation and the SEC beefed up
* Laws limiting lobbyists (while failing to realize that what they're doing is lobbying and if they got their demands passed by congress it would be a violation of their very demands at the same time -- BOOM PARADOX)
* The elimination of "the Revolving Door" (so once you're out of government you can't get a job in the sectors you're actually qualified to work in by your experience, basically rendering you unable to take a position where your talents would be best utilized)
* The removal of corporate personhood.

Some of these are good, some of these are bad, but they're all liberal causes and ideas based on dramatically reducing the profitability and power of corporations in the United States to (in theory) aid in the creation of jobs.  How does this make any sense?  How will devastating the private sector like this help unemployment?

OWS isn't as crazy as O15, but then again O15 is a European movement, and Europe is much more liberal than the USA.  They are essentially the analog however, and there are still plenty of people within OWS who agree with O15 on things.  The bottom line is, and the point I've been trying to make, is that OWS and O15 are not presenting non-partisan solutions to our problems.  They're presenting partisan ideas and acting like they're something new and they stand for the people.  Their solutions will not fix the Steny Hoyer problem, if anything they'll make it worse.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2011, 03:46:30 AM by Jude »

Offline Vekseid

Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2011, 04:05:41 AM »
It's no small fact that a major part of this country's - and this world's - ailments is the fact that Barack Obama, George Bush (either), Bill Clinton, and others in their political and economic 'class', have more in common with the likes of Mubarak, Gaddafi, and other Arabic Sheiks and power-brokers across the globe than they do with the American populace in general. We don't share many plights with the people of Egypt, Spain and Lybia, but we do share that one.

And I'm not sure if some of your specific complaints are necessarily applicable. For one is the simple matter that, in the United States, things have to get bad enough for people to feel a need to change things. That includes getting more informed - and asking which president passed TARP is the wrong question, because Barack Obama played a key role in getting it passed by swaying the Congressional Black Caucus. The right question is 'Which party is responsible?' and the right answer is, of course, 'both'. Regardless, that is a fact point, not a token of 'wisdom'. I've seen a lot of polls where, when Americans were asked 'What should be done?', and if it was taken before media manipulation on the issue - and many times even in spite of it - Americans more often than not had the right decision, especially with regards to socioeconomic policies.

Is this specific movement misguided? Perhaps. Guaranteed income was originally a Republican idea, after all, and has been proposed by right-wingers at least twice, now, most recently with the 'Fair'tax plan. Give people money, charge a massively regressive tax rate, and no more pesky middle class. Giving everyone a basic set of income isn't necessarily worse than leaving them unemployed and fending for themselves. I would prefer it take the form of a new WPA, for example.

Offline Caehlim

Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2011, 04:57:47 AM »
Only 34% of 'the people,' in the United States for instance, actually know that TARP was passed by Bush

This is not altogether surprising. For the sake of argument, let's say that being politically educated requires one hour of work a day spent in a combination of reading books, watching the news and engaging in some informed discussion. What reward are you offered for this? You're more likely that when you cast your vote, you'll be voting for someone who would serve your interests once elected. However, most of the time, your vote won't change any actual result.

What rational person would consider this a worthwhile investment of time? Now, I'm not saying there aren't certain fringe benefits. I enjoy learning about the political process, because I find it entertaining and stimulating but it doesn't actually provide any direct benefit in how I interact with the political system.

This is one of those things, where there is no benefit to one person studying it (unless they intend on using it for an occupation in writing books, teaching or becoming employed within the political system). It's only useful if everyone, or at least a large number of people become more politically educated.

If nothing else, group movements like OWS or O15 can actually be the solution to your complaint. By getting people involved and interested in the system within a large block, it can then become profitable to these people if they all start learning more about politics. There's no guarantee that they will, groups like this may become insular and have self-reinforcing systems of doctrine. However by giving these people the idea that they can influence politics, it then makes it rational for them to learn political theory.

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Ask yourself a very simple question:  have you voted for someone with principles that they refuse to compromise on?

No, I'd have to find a politician with principles they refuse to compromise on first ;). (Joking... sort of)

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Essentially, they are radically liberal in every way imaginable.  And yet they claim to be beyond party, and their sister organization OWS represents the 99%?

I've never met a political group that didn't claim to represent "the real interestests" of "the average citizen" and oppose those evil "special interests groups" (which are always whichever villain fits their idealogy). Sure it always involves some degree of no true scotsman, but it's a standard cliche within political dialogue.

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The bottom line is, and the point I've been trying to make, is that OWS and O15 are not presenting non-partisan solutions to our problems.  They're presenting partisan ideas and acting like they're something new and they stand for the people.

Pretty standard political spin. Are you really that surprised?

What would you like them to say, "Yes, this is all pretty standard really. Just more of the same. Don't bother covering us on media outlets or lending any support to us"? Now that would make them truly politically naive.

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Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2011, 08:49:37 PM »
Actually, you might be interested to read this article

Apparently, some guy named Denninger has thrown his support behind OWS.

And yes, I know who Karl Denninger is.  He's also pretty torqued at what the Tea Party has become.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2011, 09:58:53 PM »
Well I find it interesting that all the tea party supported politicians are saying that OWS is 'bad' or that 'it's not done that way'.

Then I look at the stuff they've done in the last two years and wonder. Why is it 'good' to bend over backwards to give banks and corps TRILLIONS and at the same time castrate the education system and unions.

Everywhere I see comments on folks on how we need to change our outlook from 'blue collar' to 'white collar' jobs as the focus of our economy while the same time these pundits cut the balls off our education system. How can we create jobs when we don't supply the skill base for it?

Offline Caela

Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2011, 10:15:22 AM »
Everywhere I see comments on folks on how we need to change our outlook from 'blue collar' to 'white collar' jobs as the focus of our economy while the same time these pundits cut the balls off our education system. How can we create jobs when we don't supply the skill base for it?

This is a personal tweak of mine. I think we already have too much of an emphasis on white collar jobs and the idea that college is the be all and end all of decent jobs in this country. You don't need to be a doctor, lawyer, or stock broker to have a decent job, there are plenty of skilled trades out there that either need now, or will shortly, need workers to fill jobs as baby boomers retire and stop doing them. There should be no stigma on things like being a plumber, carpenter, or electrician and yet people will look down on you for doing a skilled trade instead of having some almighty degree.

I'd like to see what a lawyer would do if he couldn't call a plumber to fix his toilet.

/end rant

Sorry, personal peeve of mine. I know people that sneer at the idea of being a plumber or carpenter and think they are somehow superior to those with these jobs all because they have some degree...even while that degree is useless to them and those same people are working retail making a quarter of what my Uncle makes as a Master Plumber who owns his own business.

Offline Asuras

Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2011, 06:47:51 PM »
The job market is way better for white collar jobs than blue collar jobs. That would indicate that we should still pull people into white collar jobs.

Obviously there will always be blue collar jobs but...there is a demand imbalance. And we still aren't investing enough in making people white collar people.

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Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2011, 08:52:32 PM »
Part of the issue with the 99% movement and the Occupy movement is that they GOT an education.  They went through the trouble and did "the right thing" but can't pay their loans cause there are no jobs and the loans are outrageous.  And a lot of them don't want a hand out.  They just want to be able to pay their bills and provide for their families.  And they're mad that big business messes up and gets a second chance that THEY pay for but they can't even get/maintain a job to pay their bills.  A lot of people just want affordable health care.  They're sick, hurt, dying. . .and can't see a doctor.  My boyfriends teeth are rotting out of his head because of genetics but he can't afford to do anything about it until it's an emergency and the pain is excruciating or he has to go to a free clinic to have all the teeth yanked out of his head with no replacements. 

Offline Noelle

Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2011, 07:48:18 PM »
Quote from: Vekseid
It's no small fact that a major part of this country's - and this world's - ailments is the fact that Barack Obama, George Bush (either), Bill Clinton, and others in their political and economic 'class', have more in common with the likes of Mubarak, Gaddafi, and other Arabic Sheiks and power-brokers across the globe than they do with the American populace in general. We don't share many plights with the people of Egypt, Spain and Lybia, but we do share that one.

No small fact, indeed - one that you should perhaps provide evidence for? Comparing the last handful of American presidents to men who have very obviously oppressed and massively brutalized their people is not really one that should be thrown around this casually.

If you ask me, this is an incredible hyperbole - Have these men in power made questionable decisions? Absolutely. Have they sent in a military force to shoot live rounds against their own citizens? Have they limited, censored, or cut vital flows of information from reaching the population? Have they executed Americans for dissenting? ...Not even close.

I'd be curious to hear what kind of standard unites "the American populace in general" that would put people we elect close to men who have committed crimes against humanity than the vast and incredibly varied population of Americans that live in our country. As it is, this is awfully vague and comes across as more than a bit exaggerated.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2011, 09:02:19 PM »
Social circles and economic class. What other standard is there? They talk with the same people, routinely meet with the same people, listen to the same people's concerns.

You want to meet Obama and have a serious policy discussion with him, you had to cough up $28,500 two months before his election. A member here wanted to meet him when he was in Puerto Rico. She, naturally, did not have that sort of money. There are a few members here who could do that, yes. But do it regularly enough to establish a rapport?

This wasn't always true. Certainly, the world is more peaceful for organizations like the Bildeburg group, but the price for that peace is the concerns of other world leaders are more important than those of the people they govern, even to those governing them. And stuff like this happens. And who owns some of these foreign banks? How did that happen?

Offline Noelle

Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2011, 10:03:11 PM »
Honestly, that assessment feels more like the six degrees of Kevin Bacon than it does "Obama = Gaddafi". By those standards, anyone with any kind of money or fame is suddenly more like an oppressive dictator who kills his own people.

Neither of those links have anything to do with how any of our presidents have done anything that can equate to killing, torturing, and oppressing the citizens they govern. It feels like a sensationalized comparison with more shock value than substance (cue Godwin's Law), but I invite the evidence otherwise.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2011, 09:12:34 AM »
Honestly, that assessment feels more like the six degrees of Kevin Bacon than it does "Obama = Gaddafi". By those standards, anyone with any kind of money or fame is suddenly more like an oppressive dictator who kills his own people.

There's a reason I specified the leadership of the Arab world. There are exceptions and people who are clearly comparatively on the fringe of this social network in our society - Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are two well-known examples in the West. Six degrees is a great deal different than one degree. These people know each other, they know the same people, and listen to the same people's concerns. This revelation was one of the causes behind the Arab Srping.

Quote
Neither of those links have anything to do with how any of our presidents have done anything that can equate to killing, torturing, and oppressing the citizens they govern. It feels like a sensationalized comparison with more shock value than substance (cue Godwin's Law), but I invite the evidence otherwise.

This has no relevance to my post, as I have mentioned already.

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2011, 11:48:26 AM »
Yes, world leaders... tend to talk to other world leaders.  If you're trying to make that out to be a relevant facet that motivates their actions, I think you're committing a series of fallacies.  That's like saying "don't go to a hospital, everybody's sick there!"

Also gonna guess that if you look at Obama's extended social circles he has very little in common with Mubarak.  Then again, maybe Sasha and Malia hang out in Mubarak's prison cell on the weekends, and I bet Gaddafi invited “Common” aka Lonnie Rashid Lynn to do a poetry reading at his palace.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2011, 11:51:03 AM by Jude »

Offline Vekseid

Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2011, 04:03:11 PM »
Yes, world leaders... tend to talk to other world leaders.  If you're trying to make that out to be a relevant facet that motivates their actions, I think you're committing a series of fallacies.

I mentioned before that this was not always the case. Up until the 1980's, leaders - both business and political - in the US were much more connected to American citizens. I even named two that still do.

And if I've made a fallacy, state it.

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  That's like saying "don't go to a hospital, everybody's sick there!"

This, for example, is false equivalence. Treating with other leaders does not require giving them billions while your own citizenry suffers. I don't doubt that they -thought- they were doing the right thing.

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Also gonna guess that if you look at Obama's extended social circles he has very little in common with Mubarak.

Rather than guess, I'd suggest studying up on Mubarak. He was very well liked in the US for embracing the West as thoroughly as he did. Some people considered Obama's distancing from Mubarak a betrayal, and not just in the Middle East.

Quote
Then again, maybe Sasha and Malia hang out in Mubarak's prison cell on the weekends, and I bet Gaddafi invited “Common” aka Lonnie Rashid Lynn to do a poetry reading at his palace.

If you can't resist trolling, you might try resisting posting until you can.

Offline Noelle

Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2011, 06:28:16 PM »
I'm gonna back up a post or so and readdress a few things.

Quote
Social circles and economic class. What other standard is there? They talk with the same people, routinely meet with the same people, listen to the same people's concerns.

What other standard is there? Well, if you're trying to compare one of our presidents to people who have effectively committed atrocious crimes against humanity, I would start with their actions or what you're doing is as dubious to me as invoking Godwin's Law and becomes purely guilt by association.

I am going to assert that their overlapping "social circle" is poor criteria, and criteria that has not come with much evidence on your behalf - no evidence of who is in this social circle and why it's relevant or makes them akin to someone who commits atrocious crimes against humanity. So far, it's been vaguely anecdotal. To make a long story slightly shorter, I'm asking you for evidence that A) this so-called "social circle" exists in some capacity and B) it matters. I'm afraid we're skipping right along to the path of being able to justify comparing damn near anyone to Hitler just because one part of their Venn Diagram overlaps.

Without getting too far into the conspiracy theory of the Bilderberg Group, Bill Gates was an attending member and should also, by proxy, be on par with the same men you're comparing our presidents to, and I'm almost positive Mubarak wouldn't approve of actively pouring the kind of money Bill Gates has into humanitarian efforts and literacy programs.

If I'm to take this "social circle" talk seriously, then I'd start to assert that Mariah Carey and Beyonce are also closer to Gaddafi than the so-called "American people" (whose attributes you have also not made clear except to insinuate that we all apparently have something in common that is lacking in American presidents and dictators alike) -- and wouldn't you know it, they have a lot of money and cultural influence, as well!

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You want to meet Obama and have a serious policy discussion with him, you had to cough up $28,500 two months before his election. A member here wanted to meet him when he was in Puerto Rico. She, naturally, did not have that sort of money. There are a few members here who could do that, yes. But do it regularly enough to establish a rapport?

Not quite sure I get your point with this. Are you making a complaint that the president charges a hefty fee to show up somewhere and so people who are rich/powerful can afford to "build rapport"? I'm pretty sure that world leaders aren't necessarily good buddies just because they happen to meet a handful of times to talk business and maybe have dinner together.

I guess my point here is that this idea of "social circles" is tenuous and a wildly inconsistent standard. Are we even taking into account with this theory that there are a number of positive influences in the same social circles?

Quote
I mentioned before that this was not always the case. Up until the 1980's, leaders - both business and political - in the US were much more connected to American citizens. I even named two that still do.

Again, what does this even mean? What singular, unifying trait of "American citizens" are you even referring to here and what qualifies as "connected"? Is it enough to have grown up with a single mother raising you to be connected? Is the fact that you worked your way up the political ladder starting from community organizing connecting enough? Is speaking a certain way enough? I can't help but be reminded of the way politicians refer to "the American people" as some monolithic group that agrees with them. "The American People want ______" or "The American People think ______", but they never actually qualify what groups in specific or account for those who disagree.

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2011, 02:37:17 AM »
I mentioned before that this was not always the case. Up until the 1980's, leaders - both business and political - in the US were much more connected to American citizens. I even named two that still do.
What exactly did US leaders do in the 1980s that they no longer do in order to connect to American citizens?
This, for example, is false equivalence. Treating with other leaders does not require giving them billions while your own citizenry suffers. I don't doubt that they -thought- they were doing the right thing.
It's only false equivalence if the logic being employed in each circumstance is dissimilar.  My point was that it is illogical to assume that one gets sick if they go to the hospital because it's confusing correlation with causation.  You're making a similar logical fault by assuming the fact that world leaders talk to each other influences them to act in the best interests of each other.  If that were the case, wouldn't there be no war?

As far as the giving billions away thing... Loans are not giving money away.  You're using exaggerated language to drive home your point very unfairly while presenting limited points of data on wrongdoing without explanations from the other side (for the sake of fairness) or factual context to explain the situation in greater scope (such as who the other 16 trillion was lent to).  If you lend out 16 trillion dollars to banks and only 3 billion of it goes to questionable sources, that's uh... Well, basically a saintly accomplishment.

The choice on who to lend to wasn't even made by an elected official... It was made by the Fed, whose officials are appointed.  There's an additional degree of separation there that makes the whole thing just that much more implausible.
Rather than guess, I'd suggest studying up on Mubarak. He was very well liked in the US for embracing the West as thoroughly as he did. Some people considered Obama's distancing from Mubarak a betrayal, and not just in the Middle East.
Well, of course.  The US has a history of getting into bed with brutal dictators when it serves our purposes.  We're more interested in regional stability than we are in the people's rights in the area.  This is nothing new, but it's more about promoting American interests than it is some kind of international kinship between the political elite of various nations.  And this practice has been going on basically since the closing of the Western Frontier (Cuba then the Banana Republic meddling).  It's a form of economic imperialism, though we're not nearly as heavy-handed about it or draconian as we used to be.
If you can't resist trolling, you might try resisting posting until you can.
I'm  not actually trying to be combative or uncivil, I figured employing Reductio ad absurdum was safe.  It is an accepted, well-known debate tactic -- how is that trolling?
« Last Edit: October 21, 2011, 02:54:23 AM by Jude »

Offline Vekseid

Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2011, 02:54:41 PM »
What exactly did US leaders do in the 1980s that they no longer do in order to connect to American citizens?

Stuck to Keynesian economics, for one.

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It's only false equivalence if the logic being employed in each circumstance is dissimilar.  My point was that it is illogical to assume that one gets sick if they go to the hospital because it's confusing correlation with causation.  You're making a similar logical fault by assuming the fact that world leaders talk to each other influences them to act in the best interests of each other.  If that were the case, wouldn't there be no war?

I'm not sure if I'm reading the last sentence correctly. When, exactly, was the last threat of war between minor world powers? The closest thing I can think of is various calls for intervention in Africa where France is royally making things suck. And that isn't even a proxy conflict - France just wants to protect its uranium mines.

Take, for example, the cable releases regarding the coordination of American antagonism towards Iran. Publicly, Arab leaders were against America for it. Privately, they asked America to do something about Iran.

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As far as the giving billions away thing... Loans are not giving money away.  You're using exaggerated language to drive home your point very unfairly while presenting limited points of data on wrongdoing without explanations from the other side (for the sake of fairness) or factual context to explain the situation in greater scope (such as who the other 16 trillion was lent to).  If you lend out 16 trillion dollars to banks and only 3 billion of it goes to questionable sources, that's uh... Well, basically a saintly accomplishment.

They are when they're from the Fed.. They're non-recourse loans. Not able to pay it back? No big deal.

It's in the interest of the largest banks to do so, of course. The Fed asking Congress for 16 trillion (or more, Obama prevented the earliest loans from being revealed) would be a political catastrophe to put it mildly.

Though I'd love to know if you can find three million that didn't go to a questionable source. For one, it's only a partial list, for two, this data was never intended to be public in the first place - it took an act of Congress as is. I know, ostensibly, the logical reason behind the megabanks needing a year's worth of the GDP in loan guarantees. That they had to hide such a colossal failure is telling on its own.

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The choice on who to lend to wasn't even made by an elected official... It was made by the Fed, whose officials are appointed.

Oh no, it's worse than that, if you bothered to read the links. The Fed didn't even appropriate the money themselves - they outsourced most of it to the big banks.

Appointed versus elected versus self-made versus inherited is rather moot when it comes to discussing the isolation of a social class, however.

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There's an additional degree of separation there that makes the whole thing just that much more implausible.Well, of course.  The US has a history of getting into bed with brutal dictators when it serves our purposes.  We're more interested in regional stability than we are in the people's rights in the area.  This is nothing new, but it's more about promoting American interests than it is some kind of international kinship between the political elite of various nations.  And this practice has been going on basically since the closing of the Western Frontier (Cuba then the Banana Republic meddling).  It's a form of economic imperialism, though we're not nearly as heavy-handed about it or draconian as we used to be.

And yet, rather than say, take over ~20 trillion in loan guarantees (including TARP, etc) to American citizens directly - say, refinance up to $100k of every voting age citizen's debts - which would have done wonders for the economy by directly easing Americans' debt burdens - it all went to big banks and the rich. And trillions still went overseas. By what sort of process do you think that happened?

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I'm  not actually trying to be combative or uncivil, I figured employing Reductio ad absurdum was safe.  It is an accepted, well-known debate tactic -- how is that trolling?

Reductio ad absurdum is not the same as throwing out an absurd statement, which is more technically termed ad ridiculum. The former is perfectly acceptable. The latter is the simplest and most blatant form of trolling. Sometimes people do it when emotional, other times people are just being trolls.

I should not have to even tell you that, however. I find it difficult to believe that you are being honest in not knowing what a term you just used means. I expect an explanation.

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Re: Remember, remember, the 29th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2011, 05:08:22 PM »
Just as a note - this weekend, there is going to be an open-mic rally in D.C., called the 'Enough is Enough March'.  Once again, I find myself wishing I was back in the NoVA area.  If you're honestly interested in why the Occupiers are - erm - 'occupying', it's going to be live-streamed.

Online The Dark Raven

Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2011, 05:57:48 PM »
I will remember the 29th of October as by co-worker's wedding.  Happy Laur's Day! *giggles*
/hijack

Offline Noelle

Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2011, 08:13:57 PM »
I wait with great anticipation for the evidence I politely requested.

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2011, 05:52:22 PM »
Threatening people as you are currently doing is hardly civil, I don't see how I'm supposed to have a discussion with someone who's condescending me in the way you are.  I'm done.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #21 on: October 27, 2011, 09:32:45 AM »
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And yet, rather than say, take over ~20 trillion in loan guarantees (including TARP, etc) to American citizens directly -say, refinance up to $100k of every voting age citizen's debts - which would have done wonders for the economy by directly easing Americans' debt burdens - it all went to big banks and the rich. And trillions still went overseas. By what sort of process do you think that happened?

 Wouldn't that have instead made -every single  voting aged adult- in debt to the banks and basically ripped up the contracts the people signed to the banks in good faith?

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Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #22 on: October 27, 2011, 09:40:18 AM »
Refinancing would allow many - if not most - of those people to take advantage of the interest rates that have dropped in the last 5 years (the interest rate on my mortgage was roughly 6.5% when we bought the house - the current rate is close to half that).  This could save them thousands of dollars in interest fees alone, not to mention lowering the monthly payments to something that doesn't have them deciding between debt-repayment and basic survival costs (food, medicine, utilities).  Also, just because a refinancing program is available doesn't mean that anyone is required to take advantage of it.  If they look over the numbers and determine that (for whatever reason) they don't want to take advantage of it, they don't have to.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2011, 10:55:29 AM »
 But isn't that basically the government telling the banks they will refinance or else? Aren't there rules against refinancing too often? I haven't had a loan in many years, so I'm vague on the details, but I seem to remember that you are only allowed to refinance every so often.

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Re: Remember, remember, the 15th of October (OK so it doesn't rhyme)
« Reply #24 on: October 27, 2011, 11:11:14 AM »
I didn't see anything in the proposal that indicated that this would be more than a one-time refi.  In essence, it would be like the bailouts that the government gave to the big corps like GM - the money gets repaid, just at the lower interest rate.  If there are rules about how often one can refi, then I would assume that the clock would be re-started at the time of this 'intervention refi'.