Is Government Debt Immoral?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Michael, May 26, 2012.

  1. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    22,910
    Bad loans were not the problem Michael. The problem was created with the deregulation of banks and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 which over rode state gambling laws. The problem Michael was not the loans, it was the derivative securities.

    The "mal investment" as you want to call it was paid for in the US by bank owners. The US government provided bridge funding in the form of loans and equity in the banks and other companies. It was not and is not a giveaway funded by the tax payer as you want to represent. And the government is getting paid back with interest.

    You just told me in your last post that you were doing well. So now you are in pain and not doing well? That was a fast turnaround.



    If you could better define a consistent moral code, you might have more of a case Michael. But your moral code seems to change faster than the weather. With respect to Corzine, he did give up his bonuses. And there is no evidence and you have not provided any evidence that he did anything criminal.

    There is certianly corruption in Washington. Washington is ripe with corruption. But instead of jousting with windmills, we need to focus our attention on the real sources of corruption. The real corruption in our government is all the special interest money than funds K Street and political movements like yours. We need to get smart and change the way we elect our representatives - take the special interest money out of our elections. Until that happens nothing will change and US citizens will continue to be screwed by their government (e.g Repeal of Glass-Steagall and the Commodities Futures Modernization Act of 2000).
     
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  3. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    Sure Joe. Whatever you say

    *face palm*

    No Joe, the government is propping up those loans by keeping this ponzi scheme running.
    I am doing well. I'm saying The American people as a whole are not doing well. Which is why you're going to see QE3/5 coming around the corner soon.

    But guess what Joe? It's not going to work. It's only going to make things worse. AND when the day comes and the Fed decides it'd rather save it's own ass and that's when the American public is going to feel some real pain. At that point, I'm hoping we say bye bye to the Federal Reserve Banking Cartel. Will we? Probably not. American's are too fat, too lazy and too moronic to take back their monetary and political destiny. Not as long as Dancing with the Douches is on the Idiot Box.

    This is a good one Joe. You carp on about "Corruption IN WASHINGTON" and then like a little school girl in love you're taking a bullet for this fat crook Corzine.

    OK Joe, as you like to say, PROVE IT.

    Let's see your "evidence" Washington is ripe with corruption. I want to see LEGAL proof that most of Washington is corrupt.

    Go on - DO IT!

    Thank your friend Bill Clinton for repealing Glass-Steagall - het nailed the last nail into the coffin.

    Oh, we need to change the way we elect our representative. Please put the crack pipe down Joe. It doesn't matter WHO YOU ELECT. They are 99.9% all corrupt. We need to reduce the ROLE of government in our lives and eliminate monopolies like the Federal Reserve so that there's NOTHING THERE TO BUY OFF. That is the only way you're ever going to do ANYTHING about corrupt public officials.

    Just look at China. The same corrupt public officials.
    Look at Australia - the same.
    Japan - the same.
    Italy, Russia, Spain, etc.. etc... what don't you get?!?! It is IMPOSSIBLE to do ANYTHING about corrupt public officials. They're drawn to power like maggots to meat, or flies to shit.


    But, don't worry, the Central Government is only going to grow larger and the economy will continue to tank until one day some corrupt public official decides it's time for another War. That's History Joe. Spin Dry and Repeat.
     
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  5. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    So, going back to the thread: Is public debt immoral?

    IF you take out a loan and force your children to pay it back, I don't care what YOU buy with it, THAT is immoral. You are spending their productive labor. Their time. When you force someone to work, you steal their time, their life, that's called slavery. You seem to think: Well, I'm only stealing a little. Just 20% or so.... !?!?!

    What if Income Tax, with the DEBT BURDEN takes 70% of the Productive Labor Joe? When is it enough, where you will admit TAXING THE UNBORN IS STEALING!?!
    30%
    50%
    80%
    100%?!?!?

    WHEN???

    Much like the Characters in 1984 you've been fed so much Newspeak you can't tell Income Tax is Theft! Your brain simply lost the ability to process information in a logical and coherent manner!

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
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  7. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    22,910
    I suggest you do some research using credible sources - not your usual partisan/ideological blogs.

    OH, so now you are doing well again. How do you know the American people as a whole are not doing well? Ninety-two percent of the population is employed. The US still has one of the highest standards of living in the world.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_Human_Development_Index


    So in the previous paragraph, Americans are distressed. In this paragraph they are too fat and content to want to change. The facts are just not consistent with your view of the world Michael.

    Well where is your proof that Corzine is guilty of something criminal? I and others have been asking you to back up your claims that Corzine is a criminal. And to date, you have not produced one shred of evidence.

    In this country we don't just throw people in jail because you or someone else wants to do so. You need proof and everyone in this country is entitled to due process of law. If you can provide some evidence that Corizine is a criminal then he should be prosecuted. But you nor anyone else has been able to do that yet.

    Gladly. The Corruption index places the United States at number 24. And the US trend has been towards more corruption.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption_Perceptions_Index

    And you don't have to look to far to see examples of corrupt legislation coming out of congress (e.g. Medicare Reform Act of 2003).

    http://www.edrugsearch.com/edsblog/60-minutes-big-pharma-wrote-the-medicare-prescription-drug-bill/

    First Bill Clinton was never my friend. And yes he did sign in the those laws that were first passed by a Republican Congress. But I am not sure how that is relevant to this discussion.

    And where is your evidence that everyone is corrupt? My guess is you are going to punt on this one just as you have done other time you have been challenged to justify you claims. The solution Michael is to eliminate the incentives to bend to special interest money and make sure our public officials are incented to act in the interests of their constituents rather than the people who fund their election campaigns, vacations and retirement (i.e post government jobs).

    I suggest you look at some of the other countries on that Corruption Index. There are better models. Additionally, your logic is off. Just because there are other countries that are corrupt, it dose not follow that a less corrupt government is not possible. Even our government was less corrupt a decade ago than it is now, per the Corruption Index.

    Well let's hope the economy continues to grow. It has grown, that is history. Government is not a problem if it provides the infrastructure and promotes opportunity and competition.
     
  8. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Michael:

    Please support your claim that Australia is full of corrupt government officials.

    Thanks.
     
  9. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    Define support. I've personally witnessed $1.3 million AUD flushed, then another $23 million, $50 million and then there's the $10 million in Aboriginal funding that went no where. Flushed. Do you have ANY idea how crap the medical profession has become in the AU? Just last night I was at drinks with some pre-med students who themselves were complaining about how poor their own training is. How about that Carbon Tax AU wasn't going to have, but then got. The government sacrificed over a hundred highly paid engineering jobs at a QLD chemical factory in favor of getting their greedy little hands onto that extra tax to bribe the electorate with silly "Green Jobs". Of course, now that the engineering graduates don't the job experience it'll never happen FOR Aussies and so the government "promotes multiculturalism" will have to bring in overseas talent. AND it'll all be one big wank until this money is spent and more taxes are needed for the next round of promised bullshit.

    Is that enough of an example? Probably not. Aussies, similar to KSA Saudis, live in a Commodity bubble that shields them from the totally corrupt bankrupt government ruining their society and running their countries into the ground. But, don't worry. China need energy and you've a lot more of your country to sell off yet. Life will be reasonable for you, not exactly that good (FMPOV) but reasonable.

    As for the corruption, all of the examples I gave were totally legal and as corrupt as you could imagine. Particularly the Aboriginal funding, that even pissed the Aboriginal woman I tutored through Med School off, though not much - part and parcel with everything else the government does "to help Abos".
     
  10. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    Give me a f*cking break Joe.

    Corzine took money out of segregated accounts, money that had already been spent, bet over a BILLION DOLLARS on the Euro and walked away free. He's NOT EVEN BEING INVESTIGATED.

    What part of CORRUPTION don't you understand Joe?
    The part where Corzine was Obama's BIGGEST campaign contributor???

    Jesus H Christ Joe, you want to know why there'll be no change in DC, look in the mirror. As soon as "your guy" is in office your brain turns out the lights. Corrupt people rarely do illegal things, they're generally pretty good at stacking the deck with Laws they use to commit murder, they're still immoral and corrupt.

    Legality does not preclude immorality and corruption.

    Take a LEGAL "donation" and then legally "voting in favor" with said donors company is corruption. Even if you can't prove it was illegal.




    Now that we're on an aside, so.... when QE3/6 comes around, are you FINALLY going to admit the Fed's policy is driving the US economy into the ground?!?! That the so-called "Great Recession" is actually a Depression and we're right at the front end of it??? Well? What's it going to take? Retiree's eating tins of Kitty Delite before you finally admit what's been staring you in the face all along?

    My advice is move to Australia, at least you can ride the commodity wave out for another 10-25 years.
     
  11. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    You don't have proof Corzine did anything illegal.

    I defined corruption in a previous post - when officials act not in the interest of the people the represent but in the interest of those who are lining the pockets of those representatives/officals.

    There will be no change in Washington when a good chunk of the population is chasing windmills as you are doing.

    First, I don't need your advice. Second, the measure of QE success is economic growth and we have seen economic growth. It does not mean that we won't need further QE or further stimulus. All of this has been pointed out to you before.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012
  12. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

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    One wonders if you even know what a Ponzi scheme is, or if this is just another instance of your throwing inflammatory language around without any real thought or argument to speak of.

    Not at understanding the issues you spend all day blathering about, you aren't. And certainly not at crafting persuasive rhetoric.

    Too bad you don't have any useful ideas that might help them. Maybe you could at least stop wasting space on your horrible, counter-productive ideas?

    To the extent that sentence even parses, it's really stupid.

    And this is the real meat of your perspective. You're just here to advertize how much smarter and more self-reliant you are than the masses of sheeple.

    The fact that your without a basic grip on the very same issues that you think demonstrate this is kinda funny though. How little self-awareness would you have to have, to go around acting as you do without realizing that you have no idea what you're talking about and that everyone thinks you're a (bad) joke?

    This from the guy who can't even answer direct, straightforward questions about basic, concrete details of his ideas. You have no standing to demand anything of anyone here.

    You've already been called out at least once on that transparently bullshit, clearly partisan canard. The repeal in question was pushed through Congress by a determined Republican effort. Attempts to blame the consequences - which were publicly predicted at the time by Democrats who opposed the repeal - are craven bullshit. You need to retract this lie and apologize.

    Are you finally coming around to embracing anarchism? It's the only philosophy possibly extreme and pure enough to satisfy your demands. You aren't still going to claim to be a libertarian are you?
     
  13. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

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    And since that's not how government debt works, we can immediately conclude that such reasoning is specious and irrelevant.

    As has already been explained to you repeatedly in this very thread, and which you have failed to respond to in any substantive way. Instead, you simply repeat your bare assertions over and over again. That sort of tactic is blatantly dishonorable and incompatible with useful discussion. You should stop doing it and apologize, or else just go elsewhere.

    Nobody in the USA is forced to work (except certain prisoners). We got rid of slavery a long time ago, and your abuse of such as a rhetorical bludgeon to complain about monetary policy is offensive. You need to stop doing this, and apologize.

    This kind of hectoring bully behavior is offensive - not to mention inane, as it's done in service of a nonsense point that has already been thoroughly debunked. If you want people to endorse your assertions, you're going to have to actually meaningfully support them, not just shout hectoring nonsense at joe. I demand that you apologize, to myself and joe personally, and to the SciForums community as a whole, for your continued misbehavior even in response to respectful, repeated requests that you behave like a respectful adult. If you can't do that, you should go away entirely.

    WAKE UP SHEEPLE GOOGLE RON PAUL!!!
     
  14. Psyche Registered Senior Member

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    This isn't like a typical debate between conservatives and democrats where the conservative thinks the government should cut three fingers off of the average person and the democrat thinks that the government should cut off four fingers and presents a graph proving that actually most people only have 1-3 fingers cut off so the conservative really has nothing to complain about. The argument Micheal and I are presenting is that finger-cutting itself is immoral Once you understand that it becomes ridiculously unimportant to quibble over the how few or how many fingers are actually being cut off.

    This is a euphemism for theft. Use language clearly. If you do not pay the government tax money the government will hurt you.The language of exchange of value for value has no place where coercion is the actual methodology of exchange.

    If I set up an apparatus that allows me to rob somebody everyday but then promise to use that money to prevent other people from robbing him it does not mean that I am protecting him or that he is benefiting from our relationship. If people value these things you've listed than they would pay for them voluntarily, if they don't than they should not force them to pay. I do not value these things or wish to pay for them. Do you support the use of violence against me for not paying taxes?

    The government robs people at will, in perpetuity and with special immunity from the laws it is supposedly enforcing through taxation. There are no protections. There is no deal. It is theft.

    Let's return to the McSociety for a second and imagine that Mcdonalds' has a total monopoly on food production/distribution and it is through taxation that everyone is forced to pay for/eat Mcdonald's food. Would you say that somebody who did not want to pay for/eat Mcdonald's was being foolish and just didn't understand all of the wonderful benefits Mcdonalds provides for him? Would you say that if it weren't for Mcdonalds the everyone would starve because they would be too stupid to figure out how to feed themselves in the absence of this wonderful service?

    Again. I have no problem if you value the services the government provides and wish to financially support it with however much of your income you see fit. I think it is a beautiful thing that people should associate with institutions they feel provides a valuable service for themselves and/or society. Will you grant me the same courtesy of allowing me to associate only with institutions which I value (non-violent ones) or do you advocate for the use of violence against me for the crime of refusing to comply with the demands of people whose source of income is the very violence itself?

    Aqueous Id, you continue to evade the moral weight of the argument against taxation. The fundamental thing being established here is whether or not the taxation is violent theft, not whether or not it leads to good things. Mandatory taxation is no different than mandatory church attendance in that it involves a group of people who so strongly believe in an exploitative ideology that they are willing to hurt anyone who does not go along with their plans. Do you support the government hurting people who believe the government is a violent institution and hence, have chosen not to pay into it?
     
  15. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

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    The only thing that anyone is getting out you and Michael's posts is that you guys have a bizarre fixation on really bad analogies, and comically inflated self-images as righteous moral philosophers or something.

    It does if "somebody" freely agrees to this system, and has an equal vote in deciding how it will be administered. Because then there's no "theft" or "coercion" involved. Government is not a protection racket, and you're free to go elsewhere if you don't like the deal on offer.

    And you are free to use your franchise to work towards abolishing them, or depart for some other place more to your liking.

    Of course. You are subject to the system of laws in question of your own free will. So long as you choose to remain so subject, you have no grounds to complain when the laws are applied to you.

    That's a pack of lies. The government is run by officials we get to elect, and we're perfectly free to leave its jurisdiction if we dislike it that badly.

    How about we stop pursuing inane, irrelevant analogies that don't apply to reality? It's telling how neither you nor Michael can seem to deal with these issues in any direct way, but instead constantly cast about for stilted, imagined scenarios.

    Of course - you are perfectly free to dissociate yourself entirely from our government, and go live elsewhere where governance is more to your liking. But you do not get to continue to live here and enjoy the benefits of our government without following the rules and living up to the duties that we all, collectively, agreed upon as a democratic polity. You can be part of our democracy, or you can leave. You have a free choice in that. But you seem to want to have your cake and eat it, too.

    The violence is to prevent you from stealing goods and services that you freely agreed to help the rest of us pay for.

    You and Michael continue to outright IGNORE the gaping holes that people are pointing out in that "argument." You both just keep repeating yourseld, with minor rephrases. You are not engaging in good faith, but simply serving as an avid propaganda stream for a fixed position.

    That is an idea so dumb that only a libertarian would say it with a straight face.

    Not "their" plans. "Our" plans. You get the same vote as anyone else in what the plans are going to be. The fact of the matter is that your ideas are dumb and your arguments are unpersuasive, and so people generally don't support them, and so our democracy doesn't reach that outcome. If you don't accept that - if you refuse to submit to a democratic social contract - then you need to emigrate elsewhere, or accept being forced to go along with the contract. You don't get to live in our polity, enjoy all the benefits, and then simply opt out of any duties by waving your hands at some sophomoric argument about "theft." You are the thief here, not the government.

    The government will not stop you from divesting yourself of it entirely, and never interacting with it again. You are perfectly free to do that. But you don't want to do that. You want to continue to receive all the benefits the government provides to everyone, and simply refuse to pay your fair share. I fully support the government's use of force to prevent that kind of theft - that's my tax money paying for those goods and services that you want to steal, and the government has a moral duty to prevent you from stealing from the rest of society. Again, you're welcome to part ways with our polity if you don't like the deal, and you are entitled to the same voice in the process as I am, so you aren't being oppressed. You're simply a spoiled brat who wants to free-ride on the rest of us, throwing a hissy fit because we won't let you steal from our mouths.
     
  16. Psyche Registered Senior Member

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    joepistole, you will actually have to point out what those fallacies are rather than simply assert that they are there.

    Yes, I pointed out that you get to chose between The Hamburglar and Mayor McCheese.

    I don't understand how someone can come out guns ablazing telling me to take logic classes and then say something like this.

    You are merely insinuating my arguments are wrong without actually pointing out where the logic breaks down, therefore I am forced to conclude that you have no rational responses to offer, and that your accusations that I do not understand logic is nothing more than pure projection.

    from the Encyclopedia Brittanica:

    Taxation:
    Imposition of compulsory levies on individuals or entities by governments. Taxes are levied in almost every country of the world, primarily to raise revenue for government expenditures, although they serve other purposes as well.


    The bald faced violence of taxation can easily be exposed simply by switching in "Mcdondalds" for "government"

    Taxation:
    Imposition of compulsory levies on individuals or entities by Mcdondalds. Taxes are levied in[by] almost every Mcdonalds' [franchises] of the world, primarily to raise revenue for Mcdondalds' expenditures, although they serve other purposes as well.


    Force and fraud do not make a legitimate business model, nor do they transform a legitimate business into an essential service. Taxation is violence. That is why Coca-Cola, Microsoft and Mcdonalds cannot tax (ie: force you to buy their products). You have already admitted that taxation is violence when you said:

    "you don't go to jail for failing to pay your taxes. You go to jail for failing to file or submitting fraudulent returns."
     
  17. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    I did.

    Not surprisingly you missed most of what I wrote. This is just another in a long series of false analogies from you. As previously pointed out to you there is no valid comparison between the Hambuglar, Mayor McCheese and the US government.



    You think that was “guns a blazing”? I think the reason is pretty self evident.



    Insinuating? Hell no, I am telling you.

    From the Encyclopedia Brittanica:

    Taxation:
    Imposition of compulsory levies on individuals or entities by governments. Taxes are levied in almost every country of the world, primarily to raise revenue for government expenditures, although they serve other purposes as well.


    The bald faced violence of taxation can easily be exposed simply by switching in "Mcdondalds" for "government"[/QUOTE]

    Now where in that definition does it say anything about violence? It doesn’t. That is you making stuff up again.
    Back of false analogies.

    Perhaps you need to throw in a reading comprehension class as well. Now I suggest you look up the definition of “fraud” and come back and tell us how that fits in with your claims that government is somehow invoking a fraud by using its power to tax.

    As I and others have told you repeatedly in this and other threads you live in a democracy. You have a vote. You have a voice in our government and if you don’t like the rules produced by our democracy then you can either work to change the laws or leave. You are not compelled to stay.
     
  18. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

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    That's already been done, repeatedly. You will actually have to start responding to substantive criticism if you want to be taken seriously, demand that others live up to some standard you set, etc.

    The fact that you are a single-issue voter with a fringe position that the political mainstream regards as a non-starter is just that. It's a criticism of you, not of our electoral politics. The fact that mass democracy renders fringe ideas irrelevant is a feature, not a bug.

    Well, then, that's more proof of your intellectual deficiency. You can go to jail for tax fraud, but simply failing to pay only incurs (steep) fines.

    He explicitly said that you are abusing the definitions of certain key words in your reasoning, and challenged you to establish that you are not. That is not a "mere insinuation," it is a direct, specific, pointed criticism of your reasoning. The fact that you are going to respond to that by pretending otherwise, and then treating that as a pretext not to respond (and to insult, instead) is openly dishonorable, and absolves joe (and anyone else who is reading) of any duty to treat your rhetoric in good faith.

    That is complete horseshit. You are addressing your own convenient fantasies, and it fools exactly nobody.

    Again, that's completely ridiculous and an inapplicable analogy on its face. Nobody has to eat at McDonald's, nor does the general public get a vote on their policies. "The government" is us. It is not some external entity imposing itself on us - it is a creature of our own creation and volition. You might have a point in the context of a dictatorship - but then the point would not be that taxation is immoral, but that the government itself is immoral and so has no standing to impose taxes.

    Why are you so pointedly unable to cope with the fact of democratic legitimacy? That failure renders your rhetoric totally inane and irrelevant.

    That's a complete hash that barely even parses as a meaningful statement. You need to drop the assumption that you know what you're talking about and have something useful to inform others about. You do not. You don't have a grasp on the basics of the issue, and need to spend some serious time and effort educating yourself from a place of humility and respect before you'll ever have a chance of doing so.
     
  19. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

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    the definition of theft is to take another property without right or permission. Micheal's silly and childish notion that tax is theft fundementally underminds the idea of government. government needs funds to operate to do what it does thus it needs a means to gain those funds. and as their always people like Micheal who feel they should be able to reap the benefits of society but not contribute to its upkeep government must beable to punish those who wish to free ride.
     
  20. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

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    @Quad "Why are you so pointedly unable to cope with the fact of democratic legitimacy?"

    Or maybe its an illusion of legitimacy, an illusion of the the government being a direct arm of the people. Psyche may have you all irritated with his Mcnalogy but that doesn't mean he isn't vaguely aware of something real, a corruption so systemically ingrained, so buried in a mythology of democracy that to point it out as being part of the system as opposed to something to pop up from time to time in the Republican party is considered blasphemy itself. His only fault here may have been trying to have a discussion on such matters from the beginning as to do so has liberals sounding like conservatives as they tell the blasphemous that they are "free to go elsewhere if you don't like the deal on offer"; in other words "America love it or leave it". The discontent with the US government I suspect is only marginally provoked by financial corruption, government debt is immoral if its debt is really private debt shifted to the taxpayer with the permission of government, something that isn't just happening in the US alone. Psyche and Michael are not just provoked by the economy but a government unresponsive to its citizenry, a feeling that we are not the ones holding the reins, that we are not as free as we would like to think (well outside of our purchasing power). Surely one is justified in feeling as much rage against Corzin as Jamie Dimon being deferentially sucked off by Congress (I'm sure you've seen Ron Stewart on Dimon at Congress). The system is weighed down in corruption, its not a secret and its not even something the American people can control which is probably why there is so much denial among the citizenry on how bad it is to begin with. The criticism of it just brings reactions of "love it or leave it" or in Liberal speak "depart for some other place more to your liking"; the difference between the Right and Left is that there is becoming very little difference between the Right and the Left. I wouldn't use a Mcnalogy, its more like the difference between Pepsi and Coke. Coke may be more popular but buying Pepsi is the lesser of two evils.

    Maybe if Psyche were a real ivy league political philosopher such as Wolin Sheldon he would only be dismissed as a fringe thinker as opposed to intellectually deficient and then he could get away with positing something like the following:

    "Consider how odd it would sound if we were to refer to “the Constitution of the American Empire” or “superpower democracy.” The reason they ring false is that “constitution” signifies limitations on power, while “democracy” commonly refers to the active involvement of citizens with their government and the responsiveness of government to its citizens. For their part, “empire” and “superpower” stand for the surpassing of limits and the dwarfing of the citizenry.

    The increasing power of the state and the declining power of institutions intended to control it has been in the making for some time. The party system is a notorious example. The Republicans have emerged as a unique phenomenon in American history of a fervently doctrinal party, zealous, ruthless, antidemocratic and boasting a near majority. As Republicans have become more ideologically intolerant, the Democrats have shrugged off the liberal label and their critical reform-minded constituencies to embrace centrism and footnote the end of ideology. In ceasing to be a genuine opposition party the Democrats have smoothed the road to power of a party more than eager to use it to promote empire abroad and corporate power at home. Bear in mind that a ruthless, ideologically driven party with a mass base was a crucial element in all of the twentieth-century regimes seeking total power.

    Representative institutions no longer represent voters. Instead, they have been short-circuited, steadily corrupted by an institutionalized system of bribery that renders them responsive to powerful interest groups whose constituencies are the major corporations and wealthiest Americans. The courts, in turn, when they are not increasingly handmaidens of corporate power, are consistently deferential to the claims of national security. Elections have become heavily subsidized non-events that typically attract at best merely half of an electorate whose information about foreign and domestic politics is filtered through corporate-dominated media. Citizens are manipulated into a nervous state by the media's reports of rampant crime and terrorist networks, by thinly veiled threats of the Attorney General and by their own fears about unemployment. What is crucially important here is not only the expansion of governmental power but the inevitable discrediting of constitutional limitations and institutional processes that discourages the citizenry and leaves them politically apathetic.

    No doubt these remarks will be dismissed by some as alarmist..."
     
  21. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    This is the greatest MYTH of democratic republics...that the winning party has been chosen by US.

    Who is this 'us'...who is 'we the people'???

    It is often not even the majority, but merely the most popular minority...the very top of the hump on a bell curve.

    This is how democratic elections work, they do not represent us, as in everybody, or even the majority of everybody.

    It does not even represent the most virtuous, wise, truthful or knowledgeable minority, but rather a moderate mediocrity.

    This is why I prefer a conditional democracy.
     
  22. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    Theres a world of difference between taxation based on a choice and current modes of income tax.

    For much of US history the federal government's revenue was extracted from its own natural resources, tariffs and excise taxes like the whiskey tax.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whiskey_Rebellion

    In other words, taxation could be avoided simply by choosing not to purchase or produce certain items, like imported goods in the case of tariffs.

    This is what most libertarians want to return to...a scenario in which
    there is still some element of liberty involved, as opposed to an mandatory extortion of income.

    Neither system is FAIR in that they do not extract from each citizen the exact amount of wealth that citizen received in the form of government benefits.
     
  23. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,391
    Yeah, maaaaannnnn, it's all a systemically ingrained conspiracy that the sheeple can't even see, maaan :m:

    If you read what I wrote, you'll find it was more like "exercise your democratic franchise to influence the system or leave it." The thing about signing up to participate in a democracy is that you have to then live with the results, even when it's not what you personally voted for. That's the price of having a vote at all. If anyone dislikes that deal, well, again: nobody is forcing anyone to stay here.

    Like most libertarian ideologues, both Michael and Psyche are given to the adolescent conceit of dismissing anything that goes against their own immediate, narrow, personal preferences as "immoral tyrrany." It's childish, in the most literal sense: they are demanding that society function according to their unaccountable whims, with zero aknowledgement of the political agency or standing of anyone who disagrees with them about anything. That they won't even come out and admit that they are demanding to be king just renders that even more childish.

    Oh please - these guys won't even accept that taxation imposed by a democratic government is legitimate. I'd say that they're anarchists who lack the courage to admit as much, but even that gives them too much credit: they just want to avoid having to pay their taxes. That's the sum total of their moral pedestal here: old-fashioned short-sighted selfishness.

    True enough, but you fail to note that they define that down to "having to pay taxes" and "having to accept that most voters don't agree with me." There's nothing short of some magical utopia that would be acceptable to these types. This is not some principled argument about corruption or special interests; the dudes are attacking basic, settled features required for any kind of functional governance at all.

    If they could limit their complaints to something like that I'd be more sympathetic. But that stuff is a sideshow: they're after the basic idea of taxation and borrowing, as such and in any context. This isn't some critique of specific problems in our present society. It's a basic rejection of any kind of governance. Which is why I keep demanding that they either admit that they're anarchists or give that up.

    Again, the reaction is "employ your democratic franchise to influence the system or leave it." If they really can't stand that most voters are okay with taxation and borrowing, then they'll just have to either suck it up or go elsewhere. The insistence that their rights are being violated by this situation - that force is being used to compell them - is just so much bullshit, and that's the only point of that "reaction."

    The only people who think that are fringe nutters, and the fact that a democratic system marginalizes their voices is a feature and not a bug.

    That's great and all, but you're just projecting views you'd like to see advocated onto Michael and Psyche. They aren't up to anything that serious. They just don't want to have to pay for any of the goods and services they depend on. We're dealing with uncritical greed, not some kind of principled critique of democracy in the post-modern era. They are, if anything, very much part of the problems being critiqued in that quote - and not antidotes to it.

    I.e., even if we solved every one of the issues that you raise there, and achieved a perfect democracy that was as responsive to the views of the citizens as is possible, we'd still be left with exactly the same complaints from Michael and Psyche: that they have to pay taxes, that the government uses fiat money, and that the government borrows money. Do you really contend that those basic, universal features of our government are perverse impositions created and sustained only through the corruption of democracy by plutocrats?
     

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