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Author Topic: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?  (Read 4298 times)

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Offline Oniya

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Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #50 on: August 12, 2012, 07:34:06 AM »
For some more reliable effects of too much iron in drinking water, check this page.  Most of them have to do with aesthetics and taste of the water.  There are a few blood disorders that mess with your iron levels, and might require a low-iron diet, but unless you've got sickle-cell trait, hemochromatosis or thalassemia, dietary iron (including that in water) shouldn't be an issue.

High-iron drinking water (10 mg/L) still contains far less than the NIH's maximum tolerable limit for daily iron consumption (see table 5) of 45 mg/day (unless you're drinking over a gallon of water in a day, in which case, you've probably got other problems.)

Offline js207

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #51 on: August 12, 2012, 10:31:24 AM »
The reason the FDA isn't doing that great of a job is because they have limited power funding.  All that crap from China, they can't do anything.  There are no regulations when it comes to imported food, even though there should be.

Unfortunately, that bit simply isn't even close to true - as anyone caught trying to bring a Kinder Surprise egg into the US will know first-hand. They are illegal, because they contain a toy. Is there any justification for the rule? Not much - but it does indeed get enforced, however stupid. Yes, they screw up and let stuff slip through that isn't allowed sometimes - hell, they can't manage to stop crack cocaine at the border effectively - but they certainly can and do ban foreign food when the government actually feels like it.

Quote
What I would really like to see is a tighter rein being put on all that underhanded shit.  I want to see it made easier for small business to succeed.  They need to stop spending all that time and money making sure the word 'ass' is bleeped out if kids might be watching, and put more effort into making sure big business can't charge outrageous fees for cancelling their service and trying to get better service.  Comcast does that too by the way.  I had to pay a fee for downgrading service when I was trying to save money.  All they had to do was press a few buttons.  Then, suddenly, dial up would've been faster.  When I complained their only suggestion was to upgrade, which I had to pay another fee for.  I didn't have much choice because pages were taking 5 minutes to load, if they loaded at all.  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what happened there.   


You've got a point there, but if you think that lot is bad, try cancelling your subscription to government services... not to mention that the phone and cable monopolies you complain about were both government-granted.

That's the real problem: it's not that the government can't act, or doesn't have the resources to act - just that it uses them for its own agenda, not one that benefits you. Do they care about your crappy roads, or your Verizon bill (where they get a cut of every bill, remember)? Of course not - and making them richer wouldn't change that.

Offline AndyZ

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #52 on: August 14, 2012, 11:49:50 PM »
We had the roaring 20's, and then the Great Depression.  In the 80's and 90's, business was booming, and greed was good, and then... um... yeah...   

So let's take a look.

During the roaring 20s, we had Calvin Coolidge, who was very huge on small government.  Then we had Hoover, who I think of as the GWB of his time, a non-conservative Republican who flubbed things horrendously.  FDR came in trying to hypersize government, and as Dave Barry put it, giving us huge government programs so that we'd never again be without huge government programs.

When FDR started putting regulations on tires, he brought in Goodyear, Goodrich and Firestone, three big businesses that got to set the rules and decide how things should be run.  There were other companies at the time, like the Pharis Rubber Company.  Where are they now?  Ground under the boots of the big boys with government backing.  FDR did all kinds of these programs to lift people out of poverty and give people jobs, but the Great Depression never ended until he left office.

You've already heard it repeated about how the 50s really picked up as a boom also.  What happened?  LBJ's Great Society.

This is a pattern that often repeats itself, not with Democrats and Republicans but with how big or small they make government.

I think everyone else has made the rest of the pertinent points, though I may have missed something.


Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #53 on: August 14, 2012, 11:58:51 PM »
So let's take a look.

During the roaring 20s, we had Calvin Coolidge, who was very huge on small government.  Then we had Hoover, who I think of as the GWB of his time, a non-conservative Republican who flubbed things horrendously.  FDR came in trying to hypersize government, and as Dave Barry put it, giving us huge government programs so that we'd never again be without huge government programs.

When FDR started putting regulations on tires, he brought in Goodyear, Goodrich and Firestone, three big businesses that got to set the rules and decide how things should be run.  There were other companies at the time, like the Pharis Rubber Company.  Where are they now?  Ground under the boots of the big boys with government backing.  FDR did all kinds of these programs to lift people out of poverty and give people jobs, but the Great Depression never ended until he left office.

You've already heard it repeated about how the 50s really picked up as a boom also.  What happened?  LBJ's Great Society.

This is a pattern that often repeats itself, not with Democrats and Republicans but with how big or small they make government.

I think everyone else has made the rest of the pertinent points, though I may have missed something.

LBJ was the 60s Andy.. the SURGE of the 50s came from having the only first world economy what wasn't rebuilding from 10 years of World War.

And there are good arguments to be made that Coolidge's small government is the reason the crash took place. Lack of governmental oversight in questionable practices like buying MASSIVE amounts of stock on margin then not having the cash when the purchases came due..

Sort of like how the fact that had Glass/Stegall never been repealed we'd never have had HUGE banks who had no seperation between commercial and investment functions. And we might not have the investment bankers passing the poison pill of mortgages around wall street for YEARS before the crash hit if we'd have the investigative strength to look into charges or regulate.

« Last Edit: August 15, 2012, 12:04:37 AM by Callie Del Noire »

Offline AndyZ

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #54 on: August 15, 2012, 12:03:24 AM »
I wasn't claiming that LBJ was responsible for the surge.  According to my hypothesis, his Great Society actually slowed that surge.

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #55 on: August 15, 2012, 12:06:35 AM »
I wasn't claiming that LBJ was responsible for the surge.  According to my hypothesis, his Great Society actually slowed that surge.

It could be argued that that industry outside the country caught up with us.

The Marshall Plan did a LOT to stabilize western Europe. Otherwise we'd have some of the stupidity we had in oh.. Afganistan in the 80s/90s and parts of Africa.

Offline AndyZ

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #56 on: August 15, 2012, 12:08:32 AM »
Possibly.  It could be a coincidence, but when things keep repeating themselves, you start to wonder.

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #57 on: August 15, 2012, 12:20:35 AM »
Possibly.  It could be a coincidence, but when things keep repeating themselves, you start to wonder.

Okay.. take two world wars.. both devestated most of Western Europe.

The 1st World War...
-German had HUGE inflation... we're talking BILLION Mark coins.. I've seen them
-The French took every opportunity to exact reparations. They literally trucked out machinery from factory to cover the costs that Germany owed.. destroying the means of manufacturing. Aside from giving Hitler a foot up years later, it makes it hard to rebuild your country when the tools are gone. Had Stalin been more ... collected by the time he signed the non-agression pact with Hitler, he'd have already owned most of Eastern Europe, but he was too busy killing his domestic rivals.

2nd World War.
-It is very easy to argue that the means of production was definitely destroyed in Germany, France and many other countries. Japan's economy was literally being rebuilt as we engineered a sea change from a feudal society to a modern on.
-The Marshall plan rebuilt German and the equivalent reinvestment in Japan literally made them the produciton strong houses they are today. We gave them modern means of manufacturing that we, the US, didn't have completely ourselves. Domestic industry had to BUY their own machinery.

Without actions like the Marshal Plan, we'd have a much weaker Western Europe, and you'd see a lot more economies like Eastern Europe.

Take a look at what we did when we 'won' in Afgansitan in the 80s. 'Job done' and pulled out. Along came the taliban. That was a joy. We have no industrial infrastructure and no educational system to speak of (The russians had this wonderful habit of shooting teachers and leaders that opposed them). Had we followed Charlie Wilson's suggestion and rebuilt the Afgan government and economy at the least we'd have reduced internal political stress in Pakistan (a nuclear power), no allies for Bin Laden and a more stable government beside Iran.

But the difference is folks like Dick Cheney hadn't realized how much money could be made in 'country building' in no bid contracts. (Ironic that the folks who pushed through all those 'no bids' are the same ones who want less oversight on business here?)

Offline AndyZ

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #58 on: August 15, 2012, 12:52:29 AM »
I may just be tired, but I'm not seeing what most of this has to do with big and small government, other than no bid contracts, and more examples of where big government has completely messed things up.

The idiocy of no bid contracts, however, doesn't mean that other ideas that a group has don't also work, though.  Besides, are you really going to say that Cheney is for small government?

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #59 on: August 15, 2012, 12:57:53 AM »
I may just be tired, but I'm not seeing what most of this has to do with big and small government, other than no bid contracts, and more examples of where big government has completely messed things up.

The idiocy of no bid contracts, however, doesn't mean that other ideas that a group has don't also work, though.  Besides, are you really going to say that Cheney is for small government?

The arguement I'm presenting is.. the 'downsizing' that the GOP is pusshing is ill considered. They want LESS Regulation, except in certain areas.

Had Glass/Stegall not been repealed in '95, we might not have as big credit crunch when the housing crisis hit. I'd, personally, would still be financially solvent and my Thrift Savings plan would have been large enough to provide me with a safe nest egg a decade hence rather than being less than what I put into it.

Had we not downsized the FDA, how many of these 'tainted' food outbreaks of botulism and such not occured. How much SAFER would the food packing industry be?

Yet, it's 'common sense' to downsize OSHA, the FDA, The FCC, FAA and other agencies without considering impact on the public.


Offline AndyZ

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #60 on: August 15, 2012, 01:23:31 AM »
Ah, there's the rub.

They want LESS Regulation, except in certain areas.

Yeah, I'm not GOP.  Cut the Republican big government stuff as well as the Democrat big government stuff.

I think we're at the point where we agree that there are things that we can cut but that we don't want anarchism. 

Poor attempt at comedic effect
Like, the Testicle Search Administration.  Does it make us safer that we can't carry a bottled water onto an airplane or that we have to choose between keeping the government out of our privates or avoiding the Cancertron 9000 machines that were banned in Europe?

We know that cuts have to be made because we take in more debt than we earn in GDP.  That means that mathematically we cannot just raise taxes in order to handle all our spending.  You could steal all the money of the "1%" and only get a few trillion, which would devastate the economy when all their businesses just up and disappear and they stop buying anything, but wouldn't fix our debt.

If you compare the market to an ecosystem, then government is a parasite, sucking up funds without providing a comparable benefit, while most businesses offer some sort of trade and equitable situation.  (Not every business is fair to its customers thanks to monopolies, but bear with me.)  Now, government is a necessity, but the trick to any parasite is for it to stay small, because if it needs too much nourishment, it'll kill off its host.

Wealth can actually be created and destroyed.  Many companies have created things which never existed before, and sell them in order to make profit.  People buy them because they want them.  Now, when there's a problem, if businesses aren't checking for it, it becomes a media scandal.  They lose their good name and people stop buying from them, and often enough they simply go out of business as a result.

People look to government to solve these problems, but look how many of its own problems the government still hasn't been able to fix.  The inevitable result is that government and business get all buddy-buddy and offer each other favors.

Limited government is not a perfect solution, but certainly it's a better solution than big government.  When we can trust limited government to not be corrupt (which is never in my mind, but maybe with a non-human government) then maybe we can consider going towards big government and see if we really can get a perfect solution.

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #61 on: August 15, 2012, 01:43:19 AM »
oint where we agree that there are things that we can cut but that we don't want anarchism. 

Poor attempt at comedic effect
Like, the Testicle Search Administration.  Does it make us safer that we can't carry a bottled water onto an airplane or that we have to choose between keeping the government out of our privates or avoiding the Cancertron 9000 machines that were banned in Europe?

We know that cuts have to be made because we take in more debt than we earn in GDP.  That means that mathematically we cannot just raise taxes in order to handle all our spending.  You could steal all the money of the "1%" and only get a few trillion, which would devastate the economy when all their businesses just up and disappear and they stop buying anything, but wouldn't fix our debt.

If you compare the market to an ecosystem, then government is a parasite, sucking up funds without providing a comparable benefit, while most businesses offer some sort of trade and equitable situation.  (Not every business is fair to its customers thanks to monopolies, but bear with me.)  Now, government is a necessity, but the trick to any parasite is for it to stay small, because if it needs too much nourishment, it'll kill off its host.

Wealth can actually be created and destroyed.  Many companies have created things which never existed before, and sell them in order to make profit.  People buy them because they want them.  Now, when there's a problem, if businesses aren't checking for it, it becomes a media scandal.  They lose their good name and people stop buying from them, and often enough they simply go out of business as a result.

People look to government to solve these problems, but look how many of its own problems the government still hasn't been able to fix.  The inevitable result is that government and business get all buddy-buddy and offer each other favors.

Limited government is not a perfect solution, but certainly it's a better solution than big government.  When we can trust limited government to not be corrupt (which is never in my mind, but maybe with a non-human government) then maybe we can consider going towards big government and see if we really can get a perfect solution.

As to the first thing.. Ain't fear a lovely thing?

Too many things in the last decade and change have been done to 'protect us'. One day we'll wake up and realize how much of our children's liberty we've given away. The latest atrocity is that the courts have ruled the authorities do NOT need a warrant to track your GPS enabled phones.

My point is.. we need regulatory authority. We've got companies who make GOBS of money by claiming a patent on hyperlinks and such, because the folks in congress won't give the patent office the right to change the patent code.

When I hear 'small government' come out of the mouth of a politician.. it's just before they start talking about killing another regulatory agency.

You know.. 9/11 aside, we've been fairly lucky in the terrorist front.. when I was growing up in Ireland.. there was a terrorist incident every few weeks. Like the assassination of Lord Mountbatten, the killing of the mounted guard in London.. I even had a picnic on an IRA landmine that killed something like 2 dozen English soldiers.

It's not just the downsizing of government.. look into the policy of 'Imperial Presidency'. Both parties are bad on it.

Big Government isnt' automatically bad..and Small Government isn't always good. Look into what the RESULTS are.

Do you realize without Government regulations, some of which are being called 'irrelevant', we would not be as healthy or safe as we are now?

Look into the studies on Bovine Growth Hormone.. oh yeah.. you CAN'T find many in the US.. Legislation has quashed it..and what that hasn't.. the lovely folks at Monsanto have lawsuited out of the public eye.

Used to be.. the media was theone of the public's watchdogs.. not it isn't. Now 'downsizing' governement is going to eliminate another.


Offline AndyZ

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #62 on: August 15, 2012, 01:46:24 AM »
This is going to make me sound like a dick, but bear with me.

You mention a lot of the problems involving Congress, legislation, and so on.  You then mention that we need more government to fix it.

Why do you believe that when the government we have now is crap, and things only seem to get worse the more we add, more government will be somehow better?

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #63 on: August 15, 2012, 02:13:53 AM »
This is going to make me sound like a dick, but bear with me.

You mention a lot of the problems involving Congress, legislation, and so on.  You then mention that we need more government to fix it.

Why do you believe that when the government we have now is crap, and things only seem to get worse the more we add, more government will be somehow better?

What do we need to fix it?

Responsible voters. People willing to think for themselves, realize that not everything coming out of CNN/MSNBC/Fox is the truth..that we've been played for the last 15 to 20 years REALLY bad by the leadership of the GoP (not our elected officals.. but the party leaders) and to a slightly LESSER (and only SLIGHTLY) degree by the Democrats.

We've been lazy, stupid and apathetic as a nation since watergate. We have let special interests hijack the republic. Accept that in a growing world like ours.. RULES and REGULATIONS have to come from somoene. Would you rather it be someone remotely answerable to US the voting public.. because in the end.. if we pull the thumb out of our butt and start even MARGINALLY voting informed poltiticians will start listening to us..rather than the NRA, Big Oil, Wall Street, Rupert Murdock and the rest.

Second.. start calling your officials, email them. push for reform. We can motivate ourselves.. that was the best thing I saw in 08. People voting.. pro or con.. they voted..

I seriously want to slap everyone who says 'my vote don't count.'. Listen to your candidates.. consider what they are saying. 'I'm for education' doesn't mean much when you gut the DoE, push through abominations like 'No Child Left Behind' and send your kids to private schools.

The men and women running for office today aren't our best.. you know why?

Because the best won't run. They don't want to put their spouses and children up against the paparizzi. We get weasels and partisan hacks when we should be voting for LEADERS.  A lot of my frustration right now? NOT ONE SINGLE member of either party running in my district would be my first choice. The GoP place holder drank the kool aid long ago..and the Democrat trying to run seems to live by the opinion polls. My senators are lying SOBs who have gotten into office by playing the factions of the state against themselves, lying better than their rivals.

You know what.. I looked over some of the people who dropped out of the game a while..and some of them have very valid opinions and ideas.. but they can't do anything because the older crowd won't step down.. the factions in control of the party assures that.

My brother ran for governor in 08.. didn't make it past the primaries.. because his 'friend' from college stabbed him in the back. The man stole damn near literally word for word, one of my brother's speeches. I met the other candidates that were running for the primary nomination.. 3 of them were like my brother.. younger, more conservative than me.. but not rabidly moral conservative but not the 'Party men' that the leaders wanted.

So they let my brother's 'friend' come in on the last moment on a party of stolen speeches, claims of 'reform' and 'small government' and attack adds. And once again the GoP went down in flames. Because rather than accept that some moderates would rather elect a moderate democrat than a rabid moral conservative who would listen not to the voters.. but the party cheifs and special interests.

Sooner or later.. there will be a successful movement.. I just hope that it doesn't require bodies in the streets like it did elsewhere. We're still able to reclaim our parties and government. It just requires accepting that this is something that will take time, hard choices and effort.

Taxes will go up. Period. Anyone that thinks simply cutting things willy nilly will fix it is a fool. Big government isn't the enemy. We wouldn't have our power grid, interstate highways and a lot of things we take for granted without it. Peeling the leeches of special interests off the brainstems of our officals is what is needed.

Otherwise.. I'm betting that within 10 years.. the next 'occupy movement' will wind up with blood in the streets and more fear-mongering. I made a similar prediction about terrorism in 1995 to a class full of people who thought I was foolish.  I made similar statements when I saw the draft of the Patriot act and our liberties...

I'd rather seen a candidate who LEADS get into office than one who so clearly going to fuck everyone but his corporate cronies.  Problem is.. good men don't see it as being safe to run for office.

That requires an aware and informed electorate. That requires accepting that unless we want to be China's bitch in the next 2 decades we have to change a ton of things. And accept that whatever budget we put through.. Taxes will go up.. for Everyone. It's going to hurt.. but then it always does. and that 'trickle down' and 'self regulating industry' are lies that don't work and never have.

And most importantly, we need leaders to cross the aisle, shake the hand of their rival party members and work together.

I'm done.. I got four fingers of Maker's Mark waiting for me.. I'm sorry I'm preaching.. I'm just tired of five damn calls a day by both parties, not hearing an election ad without fear in it.. and wishing the Government I served for the better part of 2 decades measured up to the one I was taught about.

I'm putting myself on a 1 or 2 day STFU.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2012, 02:17:08 AM by Callie Del Noire »

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Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #64 on: August 15, 2012, 05:45:57 AM »
So let's take a look.

During the roaring 20s, we had Calvin Coolidge, who was very huge on small government.  Then we had Hoover, who I think of as the GWB of his time, a non-conservative Republican who flubbed things horrendously.  FDR came in trying to hypersize government, and as Dave Barry put it, giving us huge government programs so that we'd never again be without huge government programs.

When FDR started putting regulations on tires, he brought in Goodyear, Goodrich and Firestone, three big businesses that got to set the rules and decide how things should be run.  There were other companies at the time, like the Pharis Rubber Company.  Where are they now?  Ground under the boots of the big boys with government backing.  FDR did all kinds of these programs to lift people out of poverty and give people jobs, but the Great Depression never ended until he left office.

You've already heard it repeated about how the 50s really picked up as a boom also.  What happened?  LBJ's Great Society.

This is a pattern that often repeats itself, not with Democrats and Republicans but with how big or small they make government.

I think everyone else has made the rest of the pertinent points, though I may have missed something.

Mmm, doesn't wash for me. Making sure I understand your hypothesis correctly, it seems that it can be boiled down (I'm simplifying; I know this) to big government = financial strain e.g. recession and depression, and small government = prosperity.

Your examples are comparing and contrasting the 20s vs. the Great Depression in the 30s, and using the 50s as a supporting example of prosperity.

I don't think it's a coincidence that both periods of prosperity followed two very major wars. Could be that we would have had prosperity in both places no matter what economic policy at the time was. I'm not sure I believe that. Wars cost money and drain coffers; if war provided economic booms, the US would have been in a huge economic upthrust in the early 90s when Desert Storm concluded, and there would have been a massive surge of the economy all through the past ten years due to fighting two... three (I think? Are we up to four?) major wars. The 90s weren't so bad but the past 10 years prove, I think, that war does not cause booms. I don't know that it's necessarily even correlated with booms at this point.

What I also find extremely interesting, though, is that the two examples of prosperity were times when the government had a great deal of control over the populace: Prohibition and the Red Scare. The propaganda machine was very strong during both decades in US history, so I would personally be wary of declaring either decade a rousing economic success without double-checking the numbers to back me up. They could confirm it. I don't know. But just as lemmings now have the reputation for walking off cliffs due to PR, it could be that the roaring 20s and the grand ol' 50s weren't all they're cracked up to be, financially.

Those are just a couple of the questions I have that make me extremely skeptical of your hypothesis, and I'm curious to know if you have any theories or data.

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #65 on: August 15, 2012, 10:32:13 AM »
Quote from: Callie Del Noire
They want LESS Regulation, except in certain areas.

This is the essence of my beef as well.  Everyone that I have heard call for small government (present company excluded)   are not the least bit interested in smaller government.  They just want to do away with particular programs or regulations their lobbies do not want.  The same people want to increase military spending, grow the border patrol, amend the constitution to prevent consenting adults from marrying, elevate Christianity to a special status, ect.

Ron Paul is an exception, but neither party takes him seriously.  I applaud him for standing up to the two parties, but I am not sure I agree with him.

Offline AndyZ

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #66 on: August 15, 2012, 11:59:59 AM »
What do we need to fix it?

Responsible voters. People willing to think for themselves, realize that not everything coming out of CNN/MSNBC/Fox is the truth..that we've been played for the last 15 to 20 years REALLY bad by the leadership of the GoP (not our elected officals.. but the party leaders) and to a slightly LESSER (and only SLIGHTLY) degree by the Democrats.

We've been lazy, stupid and apathetic as a nation since watergate. We have let special interests hijack the republic. Accept that in a growing world like ours.. RULES and REGULATIONS have to come from somoene. Would you rather it be someone remotely answerable to US the voting public.. because in the end.. if we pull the thumb out of our butt and start even MARGINALLY voting informed poltiticians will start listening to us..rather than the NRA, Big Oil, Wall Street, Rupert Murdock and the rest.

Second.. start calling your officials, email them. push for reform. We can motivate ourselves.. that was the best thing I saw in 08. People voting.. pro or con.. they voted..

I seriously want to slap everyone who says 'my vote don't count.'. Listen to your candidates.. consider what they are saying. 'I'm for education' doesn't mean much when you gut the DoE, push through abominations like 'No Child Left Behind' and send your kids to private schools.

The men and women running for office today aren't our best.. you know why?

Because the best won't run. They don't want to put their spouses and children up against the paparizzi. We get weasels and partisan hacks when we should be voting for LEADERS.  A lot of my frustration right now? NOT ONE SINGLE member of either party running in my district would be my first choice. The GoP place holder drank the kool aid long ago..and the Democrat trying to run seems to live by the opinion polls. My senators are lying SOBs who have gotten into office by playing the factions of the state against themselves, lying better than their rivals.

You know what.. I looked over some of the people who dropped out of the game a while..and some of them have very valid opinions and ideas.. but they can't do anything because the older crowd won't step down.. the factions in control of the party assures that.

My brother ran for governor in 08.. didn't make it past the primaries.. because his 'friend' from college stabbed him in the back. The man stole damn near literally word for word, one of my brother's speeches. I met the other candidates that were running for the primary nomination.. 3 of them were like my brother.. younger, more conservative than me.. but not rabidly moral conservative but not the 'Party men' that the leaders wanted.

So they let my brother's 'friend' come in on the last moment on a party of stolen speeches, claims of 'reform' and 'small government' and attack adds. And once again the GoP went down in flames. Because rather than accept that some moderates would rather elect a moderate democrat than a rabid moral conservative who would listen not to the voters.. but the party cheifs and special interests.

Sooner or later.. there will be a successful movement.. I just hope that it doesn't require bodies in the streets like it did elsewhere. We're still able to reclaim our parties and government. It just requires accepting that this is something that will take time, hard choices and effort.

Taxes will go up. Period. Anyone that thinks simply cutting things willy nilly will fix it is a fool. Big government isn't the enemy. We wouldn't have our power grid, interstate highways and a lot of things we take for granted without it. Peeling the leeches of special interests off the brainstems of our officals is what is needed.

Otherwise.. I'm betting that within 10 years.. the next 'occupy movement' will wind up with blood in the streets and more fear-mongering. I made a similar prediction about terrorism in 1995 to a class full of people who thought I was foolish.  I made similar statements when I saw the draft of the Patriot act and our liberties...

I'd rather seen a candidate who LEADS get into office than one who so clearly going to fuck everyone but his corporate cronies.  Problem is.. good men don't see it as being safe to run for office.

That requires an aware and informed electorate. That requires accepting that unless we want to be China's bitch in the next 2 decades we have to change a ton of things. And accept that whatever budget we put through.. Taxes will go up.. for Everyone. It's going to hurt.. but then it always does. and that 'trickle down' and 'self regulating industry' are lies that don't work and never have.

And most importantly, we need leaders to cross the aisle, shake the hand of their rival party members and work together.

I'm done.. I got four fingers of Maker's Mark waiting for me.. I'm sorry I'm preaching.. I'm just tired of five damn calls a day by both parties, not hearing an election ad without fear in it.. and wishing the Government I served for the better part of 2 decades measured up to the one I was taught about.

I'm putting myself on a 1 or 2 day STFU.

I definitely agree that our politics are completely messed up.  One of the things that I actually like about the Tea Party is their attempt to fix things on the right rather than yelling at the other side.  Now, of course they're going to fix things from their perspective, but so far the Occupy movement (which I consider the mirror to the tea party) hasn't been attempting the same thing.

Private schools are another example of how government solutions don't work.  Even though everyone is forced to pay for public schooling (depending on what system is used to fix it; where I live, it's everyone with a house) they can give their children a decent education by paying for private schooling.

It's fascinating how the people who claim with the new health care act that having more people thrown into the system should lower prices don't make the same claim for private schools.

Now here's the part where I go completely insane and give some examples of how things could be done without government: 
Quote
power grid, interstate highways and a lot of things we take for granted without it.
  I don't have issue with either of the things listed, but let's see.

Power Grid: Without having the government do it, we'd end up with private sector power, actually allowing people to choose whether or not they want to go green.

Interstate Highways: Privately run toll roads.  Arguments can be made against having to pay for the use of roads, but where I'm from, you have to pay for the turnpike anyway.

I'm probably just starting to repeat myself on things, though.

Mmm, doesn't wash for me. Making sure I understand your hypothesis correctly, it seems that it can be boiled down (I'm simplifying; I know this) to big government = financial strain e.g. recession and depression, and small government = prosperity.

Your examples are comparing and contrasting the 20s vs. the Great Depression in the 30s, and using the 50s as a supporting example of prosperity.

I don't think it's a coincidence that both periods of prosperity followed two very major wars. Could be that we would have had prosperity in both places no matter what economic policy at the time was. I'm not sure I believe that. Wars cost money and drain coffers; if war provided economic booms, the US would have been in a huge economic upthrust in the early 90s when Desert Storm concluded, and there would have been a massive surge of the economy all through the past ten years due to fighting two... three (I think? Are we up to four?) major wars. The 90s weren't so bad but the past 10 years prove, I think, that war does not cause booms. I don't know that it's necessarily even correlated with booms at this point.

What I also find extremely interesting, though, is that the two examples of prosperity were times when the government had a great deal of control over the populace: Prohibition and the Red Scare. The propaganda machine was very strong during both decades in US history, so I would personally be wary of declaring either decade a rousing economic success without double-checking the numbers to back me up. They could confirm it. I don't know. But just as lemmings now have the reputation for walking off cliffs due to PR, it could be that the roaring 20s and the grand ol' 50s weren't all they're cracked up to be, financially.

Those are just a couple of the questions I have that make me extremely skeptical of your hypothesis, and I'm curious to know if you have any theories or data.

As far as wars, I've heard as well that wars help cause a boom in the economy, and agree with you that it doesn't seem likely, for the reasons that you've given.  If anything, you're lowering the workforce and spending lots of money towards something which isn't productive.  They often say that World War 2 got us out of the Great Depression, but it doesn't seem to hold up.

It seems more likely that the 20s and 50s should have been extremely drained periods after the wars, but from everything I've heard, they weren't.  Sadly, though, I don't have any evidence on this and it could very well be propaganda.  I'll look more into it when I get back.

This is the essence of my beef as well.  Everyone that I have heard call for small government (present company excluded)   are not the least bit interested in smaller government.  They just want to do away with particular programs or regulations their lobbies do not want.  The same people want to increase military spending, grow the border patrol, amend the constitution to prevent consenting adults from marrying, elevate Christianity to a special status, ect.

Ron Paul is an exception, but neither party takes him seriously.  I applaud him for standing up to the two parties, but I am not sure I agree with him.

I like Ron Paul for a lot of things but foreign policy.  I'm not fully sold on the Isolationist thing.

It's a funny thing with Isolationist.  The usual Libertarian deal is that you stay completely removed from the world, but Ayn Rand, usually strongly claimed to be Libertarian, actually strongly pushed for removing tyrants.  Then again, it may simply be that she was too emotionally involved.

Callie brought up some great bits about how, as was best said in the Max Payne 3 game (one of the few things they did right in a disappointing sequel), "A throne never stays empty for long."  America had one of the few properly done revolutions, and I honestly believe that part of it was an attempt to minimalize government power.

Sorry for the short post but I have to go.  If I missed something that people want me to comment on, point it out.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #67 on: August 15, 2012, 12:18:33 PM »
Um, beg pardon, but my experience with the Tea Party doesn't exactly fit with your description of 'not yelling at the other side'. 

As for the government-regulated infrastructure - While I admit that the government could do a lot more in maintaining it, privatization has been shown to not work very well.  Remember Enron and the 'rolling blackouts' across California?  Yup.  As for the Interstate system (introduced by Dwight D. Eisenhower (R) ), we already do pay for those roads.  It's part of what our taxes are supposed to pay for maintaining.  Can't say that they've done a great job of following through on that, but it's primarily funded through the fuel taxes.

Offline AndyZ

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #68 on: August 15, 2012, 01:55:38 PM »
Um, beg pardon, but my experience with the Tea Party doesn't exactly fit with your description of 'not yelling at the other side'. 

Oops.  Yeah, good catch.  That should be "not just yelling at the other side."

There's way too many folks out there who only hate when one side does something.  I've met people who hated GWB for his spending $5 trillion in 8 years but don't mind Obama spending more in less time, and I'm sure many of you have seen equal hypocrisy on the other side.

Quote
As for the government-regulated infrastructure - While I admit that the government could do a lot more in maintaining it, privatization has been shown to not work very well.  Remember Enron and the 'rolling blackouts' across California? 

Honestly, no.  I was in college around that time and not really paying attention.  I'll do a quick search on it all, but feel free to correct me.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_electricity_crisis

Yeah, I'm going to be honest that I don't fully understand all this at a glance, but I notice this passage:

Quote
The major flaw of the deregulation scheme was that it was an incomplete deregulation—that is, "middleman" utility distributors continued to be regulated and forced to charge fixed prices, and continued to have limited choice in terms of electricity providers. Other, less catastrophic energy deregulation schemes, such as Pennsylvania's, have generally deregulated utilities but kept the providers regulated, or deregulated both.

It seems like they only partially deregulated things so that free market principles couldn't get rid of issues, so Enron was able to set up a monopoly and hike up prices in order to make more money (like monopolies often do.)

Quote
By keeping the consumer price of electricity artificially low, the California government discouraged citizens from practicing conservation. In February 2001, California governor Gray Davis stated, "Believe me, if I wanted to raise rates I could have solved this problem in 20 minutes."[15]

See, here's another problem.  The government can't just set the price of an item.  If it's too low, either no one will produce it or the government will have to make it at a loss.  If it's too high, no one will buy it.  Government is phenomenally bad at finding the sweet spot, especially since government changes have to cover a wide swath and prices are never the same from place to place, and they're much slower than the fluctuation that free market uses with sales.

Quote
The producers used moments of spike energy production to inflate the price of energy.[14] In January 2001, energy producers began shutting down plants to increase prices.[14]

These sentences make absolutely no sense.  How could shutting down a plant in order to increase prices possibly be a sound economic decision?  In what way could removing your ability to provide as much of something as possible allow you to make more money?

Let's use some examples here.  Toys have had some crazy sky prices, so let's make up a Captain Obvious toy that's selling like wildfire this holiday season.  In fact, toys are selling so well that they can make 2 million of them and sell them all for $30.  However, the executives decide instead to only make half a million.  Assuming the toys cost $5 to make, they're making $25 per toy, and would need to sell the toys for $105 in order to make as much as they could have.  If people are willing to pay so much for the toys, though, then the price isn't truly $30, and it makes more sense just to raise the price and make as many as they can in order to make as much money as possible.

Now, if they sell the toys for ridiculous amounts, another company is going to make Captain Duh toys, and instead of $105, they'll set the price at just $30.  Captain Obvious productions will then either keep the ridiculously high prices or lower their prices as well in order to be competitive.

So what am I missing?


I do remember something about how Enron had this big accounting fraud thing and ended up going bankrupt.  Rest assured that I don't want to legalize accounting fraud.

Quote
Yup.  As for the Interstate system (introduced by Dwight D. Eisenhower (R) ),

Let me state again that having an R or D after your name doesn't make you for big or small government.  Republicans are more likely to talk about shrinking things, but there's no way GWB could be considered a small government guy.  There's small government Democrats out there as well, like Ann Kirkpatrick.  Probably not the best example but the first one that pops to mind.

Quote
we already do pay for those roads.  It's part of what our taxes are supposed to pay for maintaining.  Can't say that they've done a great job of following through on that, but it's primarily funded through the fuel taxes.

See, part of what economics has shown is how a monopoly doesn't really work.  I can go into detail on that if necessary.  However, a government by definition has a monopoly, because except in rare cases like the school system, you can't compete with the government.

Remember when Microsoft got sued for having a monopoly because they bundled in their Office programs and other stuff, effectively making it all free because the consumer has no choice but to get the bundled programs?  Compare that to public schools.  If you don't like a private school, you take your kids out of it and move to another school.  If you don't like the public school system, you have to either move or save up enough money for a private school on top of paying the taxes on the public school.

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #69 on: August 15, 2012, 10:35:21 PM »
I recall a bit about the blackouts/brownouts of the California power crisis. We had folks who couldn't afford to live in San Diego when the power spiked, we had a DOZEN or more cheifs and senior petty officers who had to move back into base housing. One Chief nearly lost his house and it was literally years before he could afford to live in the house he bought. In San Diego there were like.. at least a pair of dairies that went out of business do to the cost of juice and the damage the brownouts did to the refrigeration units. As a result milk prices spiked as well. We lost two legacy systems to brownouts, that cost the squadron something like 10 grand in hard drives that had to be sequentially serialized 10 meg hard drives.. Antiques.. but they were definitely a seller's market item.

Word was that the 'consultants' that helped shape the California Power deregulation that led to it.. designed the bills/laws to do EXACTLY what occurred. Enron paid folks to engineer a power crisis. I think at least five people died from heat related issues that could have been avoided if they had A/C  and/or power in the eastern side of San Diego.. nothing outright put on the power companies.. but clearly the power issues didn't help.

It got so bad with the brown outs, power issues.. I used to unplug everything before I left my barracks to go to work. You know tis' bad when a 25+ year old nuclear reactor waiting to be sailed back to Norfolk for refueling was the most stable power source in southern california.

Ultilities, roads and other 'public interest' items are MUCH better regulated/controlled by the government than private industry. Anyone that tells you otherwise is either not thinking it through or is lying through their teeth.

You know why Standard Oil was such a MASSIVE fuel company back in the day? John D. Rockefeller controlled transportation. Anyone that didn't follow his orders found it very hard to transport their oil anywhere.

Consider this when you say it's better for private industry to run a public asset and/or utility. They, corporations, exist to make a profit. With no competition or alternative and no regulations.. there are CENTURIES of precedent that they will gouge what the market can bear.

Toll roads are a good example.. the ones I rode on in New England weren't much better than the public highways, and it was damn near impossible to avoid one going through the area. (Try driving from Brunswick to Providence for a consult without crossing one. I lost 40 bucks coming and going that my travel claim wouldn't cover). The Toll bridge in San Diego has MORE than enough income to cover their costs.. yet every year they up the toll and refuse to reimburse either city and actively does whatever they can to curtail anything that might interfere with their access being the quickest.

And FYI.. part of the reason Microsoft was being sued wasn't JUST due to their bundling of IE into windows.. It was their threats to vendors over putting OS installs into computers OTHER than windows, their actions to quash competition in software markets, and actions like actively obstructing the functionality of rival companies like Sun Micro-systems. (Remember all the early java issues windows had?)

As for your assertion about the economy in the 50s and 20s.. it's not as cut and dried as you think. The South never really recovered economically from the civil war, they were looted, pillaged and such. Parts of Southern culture and food came out of the scarcity of things, like French Cusine. It was poor folk cracking up everything they could to keep from starving. Do you honestly think anyone would eat things like the bone jelly out of cow hooves or fat back if it wasn't to make sure you ate EVERYTHING out of the animal.. including the squeak.

Add in that the country in both post-World Wars had an advantage we no longer have.

They were productive manufacturing Americas.. we aren't a manufacturing culture anymore. We let the suits take the lazy way out, and get kick backs from the government for doing it.

Did you know the Chinese manufacture a good chunk of our miltary uniforms? Or that is no longer a domestically produced light bulb or widely sold nail? (Farriers making their own don't count)

Offline AndyZ

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #70 on: August 17, 2012, 04:44:21 PM »
Callie, I feel like we're just going to end up repeating our points to each other.

You mentioned being a Reagan conservative, so I'm going to recommend picking up one of Art Laffer's books and reading through it.  You should be able to find one in a library if you don't want to buy it, and it might do a good job of explaining things from a Reaganite perspective.

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #71 on: August 17, 2012, 05:47:01 PM »
Callie, I feel like we're just going to end up repeating our points to each other.

You mentioned being a Reagan conservative, so I'm going to recommend picking up one of Art Laffer's books and reading through it.  You should be able to find one in a library if you don't want to buy it, and it might do a good job of explaining things from a Reaganite perspective.

Let me sum it up like this..

Is it in the public interest to let an organization administer/regulate a public resource such as roads, highways, power utilities, the telecommunication superstructure when their main charge is the public general good, or allow companies with no such directive to self-regulate? Keeping in mind that everytime we've let industry self-regulate it's bitten the public interest in the ass?

Standard Oil wasn't the only monopoly that hurt the public interest.

And that would be the Art Laffer who is one of the primary supporters for privatizing social security and is a primary reference of fiscal policy by such august persons as Dick Cheney and Donald Rumbsfeld? If I recall he's a HUGE Keysean econcomist who sees small government and minimal regulation as a good thing.

And I said I supported Reagan's outlook as a 'right sizer' rather than downsizer.. I claimed to be more of a Goldwater republican than Reagan.

Don't get me wrong, his outlook is more balance than most supply side economists and I do like that with his flat rate the wealthy would pay more, particularly since the investment gains would be tacked at the suggested rate (which is higher than the current 12%).  Just his other actions beyond his writing confuse me a bit
« Last Edit: August 17, 2012, 07:09:50 PM by Callie Del Noire »

Online Serephino

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #72 on: August 18, 2012, 01:03:57 AM »
I think what Callie and I are basically saying is that what we need is a happy balance.  He is a moderate conservative, and I'm a moderate liberal, and I seem to agree with him quite a bit.  Moderation is key. 

It may not make sense from a purely logical point of view for a company to screw it's customers, especially when they have competition, but they do.  The big banks did some really underhanded, slimy things that their customers never had a clue about until the economic crash, all in the name of maximizing profits.  President Obama got a law passed to reign in credit cards that were doing things like mailing out statements so late peoples' only options were pay by phone and get slapped with a 'convenience' fee, or mail in the payment late.  They could also raise your interest rate because they felt like it.  You keep saying that the free market will produce a competitor that won't do that so they get all the customers.  Problem is, they were all doing it, because it worked so well to make them rich.  The famous Wallstreet Bailout; the banks used it to give bonuses to the geniuses that caused the crash, then turned around and asked for more, and the government had to give it to them because they were 'too big to fail'.  They'd take the economy with them.  There was competition, and yet, they all used the same underhanded practices. 

Let's use an example.  Chemical G is discovered.  It's a zero calorie artificial sweetener that's extremely cheap to produce, cheaper than anything currently in existence.  The studies on whether or not it's safe to consume are mixed, but, hey, 500 people were used in the study, and only 60 of them got sick, and it really can't be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that Chemical G was the cause anyway.  Without the FDA to say it can't be used until there's more proof it's safe, why wouldn't every food company out there use it?  The first company to switch to chemical G will be able to lower their prices and still up their profits.  If the other  food companies want to stay competitive they'll have to switch to Chemical G, or take a serious hit to their profits.  What company wants to lose money?

Then say five years later some scientist discovers that Chemical G is toxic.  It isn't rat poison, and you have to consume it for a long period of time for it to do harm, but serious harm is done.  The people who get sick aren't going to know is was Chemical G that made them sick.  It's the FDA that makes companies put the ingredients on the label, and even then, most people don't bother to read it.  It's on the shelf, and why would any company sell something that isn't safe?  Without the FDA making them disclose it, the people getting sick won't even know what Chemical G is. 

The companies are watching the money roll in, so why won't they silence the scientists that believe Chemical G may be harmful.  With enough money they can hire other scientists to prove it isn't true.  If only 12-15% of people are getting sick and dying, that's a relatively small percentage, and aren't a few thousand lives worth a billion dollars?

If you want a real life example; high fructose corn syrup.  I've heard both bad and good things about it.  Companies still use it; it's practically in everything.  People still consume it for the most part.  Like I said, most people pay little to no attention to what is in their food and drink.  Instead of devoting resources to look into the issue further, companies are trying to make the people who say it's bad look like crackpot alarmists. 

It's been proven how toxic cigarettes are, yet people still smoke, and tobacco companies aren't doing anything to make their product less poisonous.  They know that for every customer that dies two more will take their place.  Before anyone jumps down my throat, I'm not saying tobacco should be banned or anything.  It's just proof that big business isn't all that inclined to do what's in the general public's best interest.  They do what's in the best interest of their wallets.  Watch 'Thank you for Smoking' sometime.       

Offline AndyZ

Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #73 on: August 18, 2012, 04:03:02 AM »
And I said I supported Reagan's outlook as a 'right sizer' rather than downsizer.. I claimed to be more of a Goldwater republican than Reagan.

This is probably where I was confused, then.  Admittedly I don't know too much about Goldwater, but so much of what you've said was blatantly against Reagan that I got confused.

I feel like I'm just repeating myself a lot.  I'll try to keep posting but I don't want to get to the point of the same thing over and over.  However, I do want to thank everyone for being kind and respectful; it's quite a pleasure compared to many of the other threads in this section.

Serephino, I notice there's a bit of a circular argument here.  With Chemical G, you mention that we need the FDA to approve things because people will automatically assume that it's safe because we have an FDA to approve things.  Now, I won't argue the idiocy of the average person, but I do feel like this is a problem in society.  People expect everything to be safe and labelled, to the point where coffee mugs warn that coffee may be hot

Next up, we have the issue of lethal products and what happens.  There's an old story that got told in my Business Ethics class which you might have already seen on Fight Club, where they weighed the cost of doing a recall against not doing one, and decided it was cheaper not to do one.  When this came out in court, they got their pants sued off by the people who died.

Without the FDA deciding what is and isn't safe, you can use public opinion and courtrooms to get juries to decide.  High Fructose Corn Syrup is acceptable because the FDA says it is, so everyone uses it because it's acceptable.

Now, part of the reason that all of the companies do things is because there's only a few competitors.  I've already explained how monopolies are bad, and how the best way to counteract them is to have a low barrier of entry.

So I did a search on how to start a business in America and got an eHow page:

Quote from: http://www.ehow.com/how_4721941_start-business-america-usa.html
Instructions
1
Contact the Chamber of Commerce of the city you are going to stat your business at to know the local, county and state requiremtns.

2
Visit Internal Revenu Service at www.isrs.gov, to be aware of kind of taxes you need to pay and collect from your employees.

3
Check out Immigration and Naturalization Service at www.ins.us.doj.gov, to know what kind of information and forms you must use with your employees.

4
Contact U.S. Dept of Labor at www.dol.gov, they will give you information about minimum wages, child labor, training, tipped employees, substance abuse, hiring and firing.

5
Speak to Occupational Safety and Health, to see what you need to do to meet their requirements.

6
To get more information on how to obatain patents, trademards or copyrights go to Patents, Trademarks and Compyrights at uspto.gov

Now, you'll note that it doesn't help you at all with actually getting a business started.  Do a search on hooking up a TV, or composing music, or any number of other things, and it'll actually point you in the direction.  This is just full of all the things that the little guy has to do in order to try to get things going.

There's a saying that if Bill Gates wanted to start up Microsoft today, he wouldn't be able to thanks to all the rules and regulations.  I don't know who said it and where, though I'd love to know.  That means that for all the innovations that came about as a result of Microsoft or businesses influenced by Microsoft, we'd have a big technological hole.

Here's a listing of the IFC ranking all the countries on the ease of doing business: http://www.doingbusiness.org/rankings

America is number 13 for starting a business.  Lucky 13, although it has us tied with Ireland so we're both 13 and 14.  Dealing with construction permits is 17, and it keeps going from there.

Now, your mileage may vary, but I always figured that part of the American Dream is that you can go off and do your own thing, start up your own stuff and not have to sign up for one of the corporations which already exist.  If I was big on conspiracy theories, I'd suggest that they use their political influence to deliberately make it harder for other companies to do business so that they could continue to be unscrupulous and know that they could get away with whatever they wanted.

If there was a way to have some trustworthy government influence over our lives which wasn't corrupt, I'd be interested.  Honestly, though, I don't think it exists.

How about we suggest this as a possible compromise: perhaps the best way to handle things would be to allow smaller companies to do all this stuff without having to deal with all the red tape, and create a sliding scale where the more money that the company brings in, the more of these rules and regulations they'd have to follow?  Or would you want corner delis and the like to still have to deal with all of these things?

Offline Oniya

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Re: Why should we be happy with downsizing governement?
« Reply #74 on: August 18, 2012, 08:55:47 AM »
Just as a note, I would point out that eHow is probably a step below a Wiki as far as self-correction goes.  Anyone can write a page, and there is no way of submitting corrections to another page owner, except through the comments.