Friday, September 30, 2005

Solution for America

Here we pose a question to a crotchety classic lib for solving our economic woes:

So do you think we should be spending buckets? i mean to prevent the recession/stagnation ala Japan for the last fifteen years? Its a possibility..... But couldn't you get out of that another way? Although Japan seems to be stuck. I mean if your take on the economy is that its stuck in slow growth. But your wrong characterizing the service sector as burger and fries. But what should we do? Socialize manufacturing? Thats very inefficient. But some manufacturing may be a security issue...... I don't know. Obviously you don't move Electric Boat to Singapore. But what about Caterpillar? Or Boeing? We subsidize farming already. But I don't know....

The Liberal's Solution

1. Reform tax structure...count all income, close loopholes, small number of progressive steps. Tax forms should be single page affairs anybody can fill out.

2. Cut military spending, mainly by stopping weapons systems procurements. Big cuts in number of generals and admirals. Cut overseas bases by at least 3/4. Remove troops from Europe. Restructure army as light mobile strike forces....not to fight WWIII on plains of Europe.

3. Tax corporate foreign profits...create pressure to retain/return tech jobs to us.

4. Change Social Security--no more raiding of trust fund...make congress pay it back from prior years raids. Raise retirement age in six month steps. Increase % individual contrib and employer contrib, it will only take a small change.

5. Big changes in Medicare Medicaid. National health insurance program for all companies allowed to run it at fixed return rates. Big reductions in payment rates to doctors. Fed malpractice insurance coverage to lower cost to doctors.

6. Tax breaks for hiring older workers in job share or less than full time....incentives to keep older people employed.

7. Energy independence--incentives to get rid of fuel inefficient cars. No more highways. Tax engine displacement and vehicle weight, but phased in to give time to get rid of gas hogs. Develop alternative energy sources. Push power generation for business and homes into solar and nuclear sources...get away from oil/gas/coal.

8. Enter into specific industrial relationships with specific countries (mainly Africa) to develop industries with us on most-favored-nation relationship.

9. Much tighter and restrictive land use policy. Reduce urban sprawl, more concentration of population into compact areas where costs can be contained and neighborhoods developed....not jam-packed cities, but satellite communities with fast transit to urban core.....the urban village.

10. Educational reform--national standards/goals, but not tests in current form. Test for abilities, not content. Want to make sure teachers CANNOT teach to test. Multi-track education. At high school level students opt for technical vs. academic vs. I don't know what tracks....but NOT rigid, and it don't mean that plumbers should not learn Beethoven! Corporate internship/apprenticeships bring tax breaks and future jobs for students.... teaches good work habits.... ensures ready stream of trained workers. Teachers must major in areas in which they teach. Shoot all professors of education and burn down the colleges of education. Max of 15 minutes per day dealing with government regs by teachers. Beginning salary of ANY school teacher ANYWHERE is 30,000 Yankee dollars. (ya, and classes should stand when teacher enters the room, too)

So what do we think?
1. Everybody wants this! Why wont any politician do it? y
2. National Security, need more not less n
3. Raise taxes? Again? n
4. More Taxes? (surprise surprise) n
5. Nationalized Health Care? (paid for by -- more taxes) n
6. Tax breaks now? Ok, but you sound like WalMart...... y
7. Naive view of energy, and expensive, but close...... n
8. Huh? I think we do this, but not with dictators..... ?
9. Are you Walt Disney? This is poppycock. n
10. You sound like Bush! y


yeah 3
nyet 6
with one abstention.

Liberals vs Conservatives

Here is a very interesting point/counterpoint on the philisophical underpinings of our politics. Enjoy!
(originated by V on June 27 05)

Liberals vs Conservatives:

Liberals believe in the right to self determination of the individual. Conservatives believe that the elite, especially the corporate elite, know best; the individuals have only the circumscribed rights that the state gives them.

M- By self deterimation do you mean do whatever you want unless we don't like it? And the corporate elite know best, yeah right, what century are you in?

V----Maybe that's why the ACLU is a Liberal, not a Conservative, organization....we defend everybodies rights....including W.F. Buckley and the American Nazi Party....the first amendment covers everybody. Name a time the libs opposed constitutional rights! And, in case you have not noticed, the corporations run this country--the interlocking directorate of government-corporations-military is called the
circulation of elites....look it up.

Liberals believe in constitutional government, representative democracy and the rule of law. Conservatives believe in rule by religious or aristocratic traditional elites; that the people cannot know what is best for them, and that the elite have the right to make the law in their own self interest.

M- Except when they loose elections, or the constitution isn't quite right (gun control, abortion, religion), and the rule of law, is that the law based on a Judeo Christian ethic? If anybody believes the people don't
know whats best for them its liberals. Now the acusation about traditional elites, hmmm whos created Camelot? Who wants to build aristocracy?

V--the above makes no sense......what are you talking about? What constitutional issue are you talking about? Somewhere you have bought in a Marxist idea.....this is very confused.....

Liberals believe in both human rights and civil liberties, especially freedom of speech and of the press, and in the tolerance of diversity of thought and expression.

Conservatives cling to traditional class based rights and privileges, based on a monopoly of force. That the press and speech must be regulated so that their vested interests are maintained. They believe in the orthodoxy of thought, especially religious thought, and actively suppress ideas and speech that threaten their dominance.

M- How about activily supressing ideas that will destroy our civilization? And, whos intolerant now? You show me something you can't do here, no matter how odious. Civil liberties, so long as they don't promote
anything religious. Human rights? Whos human rights? Do you want human rights for Iraqis? Do you want civil liberties for women in the middle east? And your regulation of the press crap is a joke. You can say almost anything here, and i don't see any conservaties trying to supress or regulate it, nor wanting to.

V----Ah, so you're for suppressing IDEAS! Most revealing! How traditionally conservative...Tsarist, monarchist, Bismarckian etc. Like what ideas, for example? Things like voting rights, the right to
organize, public assembly etc..... Nobody objects to SUPPORTING religion, what we object to is REQUIRING religion...big difference. Want separation of church and state, like the founding fathers established, for example. Human/civil rights in Iraq and the middle east are great....but THEY get
to define what that means, not G. Bush. Not OUR place to define THEIR society....thought u guys were against "nation building"? Or is that OK when the R's are in power rather than the D's? Ref the press....a
controlled press means there is no real debate on issues....points of view never make the press....the press is "self-censored".... Plus, lots of things u cant attend Bushie rally wearing a kerry tee shirt...

Liberals believe in a free market and free trade, with limited government intervention in the economy to insure fairness and competition. Conservatives believe that government exists to insure their control of
the economy, and their ability to control markets and trade to maximize their profits, whatever the cost to the workingman.

M- Here you have mislabled your labels. And as for the workingman, who is currently overtaxed, looks like conservatives are trying to give him a break. Now, historically I would agree, but thats is far in the past. Limmited government? Show me one liberal polititian who is working towards those goals. Free market and free trade? Ditto. and spend seems to make a lot more sense to me than don't tax and spend record amounts!

Liberals believe in neutral government; government that does not take sides and has an open mind in ethical questions. Conservatives believe that governments primary function is to express and support their point of view in economic, religious and personal ethical decisions. This is usually done thru the use of a religious orthodoxy.

M- What is your neutral government? Complete drivel here. Who secures your idylic government? An open mind in ethical questions read to me like you have no moral foundation, or want to destroy one. Conservatives believe that the governments primary function is to provide security for the population. Now if the MAJORITY wants the government to represent them as you point out, that sounds like democracy in action. Sorry that you can't have it your supposed don't take sides way. Your way just takes your side. So the position is a falacy to start with.

V--aha, ur against looking at different sides of issues...again, how conservative......we are right and end of debate. Sounds just like George II. No open mind on ethical questions......unbelievable...

Liberals believe in equality before the law and in a secular state. Conservatives believe that corporations and the privileged have a right to use the state and the law to maintain their position in society, and often
try to find religious support for this position.

M- Equality before the law? Now the secular state is definitely what libs want, but you will have to make you own somewhere else. Because a true secular state needs a majority of people who do not believe in God. And what would be the foundation of your state? I supose you could form some government that represents the people, but what foundation do you have if you have removed the tradition of morals based on Judeo Christian ethic?

V-so, now u don't belive in equality before the law!!!! Gee. Secular state simply means that there is not religious test in governmental matters.....see the Constitution on the matter. Personally, I'd base a REAL secular state on reason, logic, evidence and proof.....not some theological flight of fancy and religious voodoo. (unless, of course, it was MY theology and voodoo!!!)

Liberals know that change will come, no matter what. They believe in a better tomorrow, especially if we are ready to criticize and change today. They are forward looking. Conservatives fear change, fear the people, and fear tomorrow. They look back to an imaginary perfect past that never really existed, and long to return to it. They are backward looking.

M- thats funny, mr. doom and gloom sees a bright future? Who is looking back to an imaginary past? Libs glory days were Veitnam and Watergate, and they still relish the day. Change is what conservatives long for, work for, and will atain. Its just not the changes you want. The imaginary perfect past pops up on both sides, but I think your utopian socialist perspective is just as blind as the libs who live in the sixties and the conservatives who dream of Leave it to Beaver.

V-such confusion! Where did utopianism and socialism come from? Thought we were talking about Liberalism? Can't u keep them straight? What the "conservatives" of today work for is government of the corporation, by the corporation and by the corporation....

Liberal ideas and revolutions have been victorious from the time of the Enlightenment, else under the Conservatives we should still be living in caves in a Hobbesian world.

M- now your just ranting and raving. And mixing up historical definitions. Was the Enlightenment brought about by a secularist? And now you label victorious ideas and revolutions Liberal. Hmmmm,
were the founding fathers, who fought the revolution here liberal? If you want to redefine things, then you have to agree on definitions to have discourse.

V--the founding fathers were a lot more than liberal---they were REVOLUTIONARIES!!! Many of them were outright secularists, and most were theists of different stripes. Gee, read ur history. And yes, the
Enlightenment was in large part, very large part, a secularist development.

(Here M responds with counter def)
Now lets set some opposing platforms:

Saddle the population with the cost of a welfare state
-- or --
Give precedent to self determination and let the individual be as productive as posible

Prey upon the emotions of minorities and special intrest for political gain
-- or --
Present cognizant arguments to garner the suport of the individual

Cower to foriegn threats so as to appear nice
-- or --
Stand up and fight with a real goal in mind

Tax the most productive elements in society
-- or --
Promote a environment for every citizens oportunity to atain success

Now, of course, unfortunately, as I have stated before, no polititian has reduced government. So some of these definitions can't fit into party politics right now I guess. But whatever, the fun goes on...... Wish I
was there already.

Ah, going public

I have decided to take my rants and coments public so we don't have to keep repeating ourselves. This arises out of the fun flame war I've been having. So onward and forward.