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Thread: Pesident Clinton

  1. #21
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    Pigeon-holing Bernie into the socialist designation is the rhetoric of the republicans and the Hilary supporters.
    No. This is how he describes himself and many of us will agree that this is accurate.

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-me...tic-socialist/

    Bernie is honest (a saint compared to many politicians), but he is gravely mistaken in his belief that he can outwit the basic flaws of socialism that you correctly state will fall flat and fail. Some of his supporters are naive and trust that the promises of security and support under socialism will be available. Others don't care and are looking for free stuff. As long as they don't pay for it then that's fine.

    She is dangerous, with little regard for national security.
    She really is. It's so obvious that it is blatant and reckless. What is instructive is to follow who supports her. Even if she fades away these people and organizations will remain. We need to remember them.

  2. #22
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    Thanks for that well written and generally fair link Planters, but I stand by my statement about those who drop the "democratic" bit. A crabapple is an apple and a red delicious is an apple, but they're not the same. Bernie's said nothing I've heard supporting the public ownership of any means of production, but I get that he's used the word "socialist" to describe his beliefs in the past. That doesn't erase the distinction in practice, as demonstrated by Karl Marx and Franklin Roosevelt.

    And also, my comment about the intelligence of Trump supporters comes from his popularity among the least educated, according to all the polls I've heard reported. It's unfortunate (in my opinion) that intelligent republicans believe they're forced by their ideology or single-issue myopia to vote for a candidate who spews bumper-sticker hatred, and despite standing 6'3", believes it's necessary to defend the size of his dick in a presidential debate.

  3. #23
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    And also, my comment about the intelligence of Trump supporters comes from his popularity among the least educated
    I support him as do my colleagues and we have all spent a significant time in school. If his popularity was dependent on one's level of education then he would be criticized for being elitist or "out of the ivory tower".

    The distinction between socialist and democratic socialist (both terms have been used by Sanders to describe himself), is fundamentally whether the ownership of production is public or private. Either way, the redistribution of wealth and resources is theft. Robin Hood was a thief. No matter how you dress it up, the disconnect between the reward and the effort, dedication, risk to produce and achieve makes the system unstable. This is why you need such a large governmental intrusion in every aspect of life. You need to turn the natural tendency of a person to act in their own interest and force them to act for the benefit of those he will probably never meet. This might work on paper ie Marx and the real ivory tower socialists, but people are not simplified caricatures, they will alter their behavior based on their inherent self interests and soon climb into the cart with the free loaders already riding there.

    to defend the size of his dick in a presidential debate.
    This worries me too. Especially if he debates Hillery. He could go after the size of her dick...oh I mean Bill's, assuming it hasn't fallen off from syphilis. Why has Bill spent so much time on that island with underage girls? Just saying.
    Last edited by planters; 03-15-2016 at 08:54.

  4. #24
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    Default I desperately wanted to avoid this thread, but...

    Quote Originally Posted by planters View Post
    he is gravely mistaken in his belief that he can outwit the basic flaws of socialism
    Hmmm... Just about every prosperous nation in the European Union has a government with MORE socialist policies than Bernie is currently promoting. Since those successful nations don't seem to be imploding (Greece not withstanding, and it was hardly "successful" start with, not to mention it was internal corruption at the highest levels that brought Greece down and not socialism), maybe those "Basic Flaws of Socialism" you speak of have nothing to do with whether the policies actually work or not and more to do with whether they fit your personal world view?

    Honestly Eric, you are a very smart person, but when I hear you talk about politics I almost can't believe it's the same man speaking. OK, I get it - you don't like socialism. But that doesn't make it intrinsically flawed. Don't conflate your personal preferences with facts. That's the path to cloudy thinking.

    Socialism is a term that is so loaded, so full of baggage (thanks to the 50's and 60's eras) that it is almost impossible to discuss the subject today without immediately being lumped in with the likes of Lenin or Marx. The truth is that socialism is all around us, every day, and it's very beneficial. Police, fire, ambulance, armed forces, road construction, public education, food inspection... That's all socialism.

    True, it can go too far. One could say that the FDA is already a bit too large. (I think most PL members would love to see the CDRH relax a bit, for example.) And I will admit that I'm not a huge fan of the National Endowment for the Arts. Likewise, I don't know too many people who want to see their tax bracket go up to 70% just so bums don't ever have to get a job.

    But that's not what any of the current candidates are talking about. Yet the example of the non-working bum who freeloads off the system is the same, tired, one-dimensional, straw-man argument that is always trotted out by the right, and it's usually followed with the epitaph of "This is what socialism will bring!" We heard it 30 years ago when the subject was welfare recipients, and we heard it 10 years ago when it was about unemployment benefits. (Despite statistics that showed welfare / unemployment fraud to be present in only a vanishingly small percentage of total claims.)

    And as I said, no one in the race right now is proposing policies like this to begin with. Truthfully, most of the democrats in this race are fairly moderate. In fact, a historically strong republican from 30 years ago (Reagan) would be considered a moderate democrat today! (Did you know he actually advocated single-payer health care, but didn't push it because he knew the congress wouldn't support him? Or that Nixon also favored it back in the 70's?)

    If you don't like socialism because you believe everyone should be hard working and earn their fair share, that's fine. I used to feel the same way, to be honest. However, I have in my adulthood discovered that not everyone starts off on an equal footing, and like many people I associate with here, I have been very fortunate. But I have met others who are smarter and more talented than I am, who have worked much harder than I have, and have still managed to accomplish less. One day I hope that you, too, will realize that your success, great though it is, is not exclusively a product of your innate ability and effort.

    But don't throw the word around like an insult. Socialism is alive and well today in many countries, including ours, and we desperately need some socialism in our lives if we want to compete. (No way can the private sector provide things like police, fire, or road services, to say nothing of an army...) Bernie isn't out to turn the nation into a collective commune. He's just trying to address some of the inequities that underlie the problem I mentioned above.

    Will implementing some socialist policies work to correct the issue? Maybe. Maybe not. We don't know for sure, but we do know that countries that have tried similar things currently enjoy a higher quality of life for the middle class than we do. And we also know that when we tried the opposite (remember "Trickle-down" economics?) the result was a disaster for the middle class.

    Others don't care and are looking for free stuff. As long as they don't pay for it then that's fine.
    You can't be so naive as to think that the majority of people who support Sanders are doing so for free stuff... If you honestly believe this, then you are very sadly misinformed. Oh, I'm sure there is a minute minority who think this, but those aren't the people turning up at the rallies, or the ones voting at the polls.

    Adam

  5. #25
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    Socialism is intrinsically flawed. The more the government gives you, the more it needs to take. Limiting liberties due to the burden of heavy taxes. It wouldn't be so bad if the returns were 100% of what you put in. Therein lies the flaw. Hell, even 80% back wouldn't be bad. The problem is, we don't get that much in return. The bigger government gets, the more it costs. Yes, some socialist programs are good but we also have to think of the cost.

    This is where I don't see Bernie as the big bad socialist candidate everyone is making him out to be. For the United States, we would need to completely gut and throw out the current governmental system and implement socialism from the ground up... that whole 100% in and 100% out. There is no way we could do that with our government the way it is now. So I am not worried about that.

    Even without the freeloaders, those who can't put into the system and those who make poor life choices, the possibility of corruption and the enormous cost of socialism makes it flawed in my eyes. The idea that we can "save" everyone, though noble, is just impractical.
    Those who fail to grasp art are the ones who criticize it.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by planters View Post

    I strongly support Trump and I would support Sanders if Trump were not an alternative. These two have very different approaches to government and at the fundamental level, but the glaring corruption of both parties, the existing political system and the power structure in Washington is hideous.
    If I get you right your main reason for supporting Trump is because you hope he will clean Washington up? That seems remarkably single issue...

    I'm not an American so if you have concluded Trump is the best option for your country then that is fair enough. But as an European I fear the moment he gains power. He is the kind of guy who appears to be Drumpf enough to start a couple new big scale Middle Eastern wars... That would be a disaster, because it causes a new wave of asylum seekers to Europe, because it further instabilises the region and because it will impose another infinite hole in your national budget.

    Quote Originally Posted by planters View Post
    Sanders is a socialist. Socialism is for loosers. Socialism is theft.
    Haha. I see you like Ayn Rand. Let me tell you why you're wrong. Say there exists a company with several factories, employing say 5000 people, all low schooled people who have never done anything else in their life. Then a clever guy comes along and finds a way to replace all those workers with machines. All factories can now be run by, say, 500 people total. So, 4500 have lost their jobs, while the company's profits skyrocket as once the initial investment is digested, not having to pay for 4500 people is just so much cheaper. You could try to find a new job for them but that's not a simple task of course and it's going to take years for all 4500. If other companies do the same... You get the idea. What are you going to do with those people? Leave them to rot? Or... Take away some of the profit of the company to give their former workers a way of living? What horror!

    It's wrong to let your survival depend on having a job when you have a system that is not designed to create jobs, instead the system is designed to create profit for the ones who were lucky enough to have that one brilliant idea and the ability to make it work out (or the ones who acquired a small loan of a million dollars from their parents). It used to coincidentally work out in the past because companies needed a large work force to generate profit. But when that changes... Then you end up with a large group of people unable to build a decent life, and guess where that leads to. Then you might agree that socialism wasn't so bad compared to your dreamy randian idealistic world.

    You do have to be careful, and here I agree with you completely, that it is still possible to have that brilliant idea, and do something with it and get rewarded greatly if it works out. It's what makes the world go round. But you also need to make sure your society remains stable. After all, if you have a large but poor populace nobody is going to buy your product because they can't afford it. Then you're back to the 19th century. Unless of course you know of a way to accomplish this without socialism. Then I'm curious to hear what you have to say.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by absolom7691 View Post
    Socialism is intrinsically flawed. The more the government gives you, the more it needs to take. Limiting liberties due to the burden of heavy taxes. It wouldn't be so bad if the returns were 100% of what you put in. Therein lies the flaw. Hell, even 80% back wouldn't be bad. The problem is, we don't get that much in return. The bigger government gets, the more it costs. Yes, some socialist programs are good but we also have to think of the cost.

    This is where I don't see Bernie as the big bad socialist candidate everyone is making him out to be. For the United States, we would need to completely gut and throw out the current governmental system and implement socialism from the ground up... that whole 100% in and 100% out. There is no way we could do that with our government the way it is now. So I am not worried about that.

    Even without the freeloaders, those who can't put into the system and those who make poor life choices, the possibility of corruption and the enormous cost of socialism makes it flawed in my eyes. The idea that we can "save" everyone, though noble, is just impractical.

    Actually, in the end, it's entirely possible that some of these socialist programs end up costing you *LESS* than the current system.

    At the moment, total health care spending in the United States runs over $3 trillion a year; according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, over the next decade (from 2015-2024), America will spend a total of $42 trillion on health care. This is money that you and I and everyone else spends. We spend it in a variety of ways: through our health-insurance premiums, through the reduced salaries we get if our employers pick up part or all of the cost of those premiums, through our co-pays and deductibles, and through our taxes that fund Medicare, Medicaid, ACA subsidies, and the VA health care system. We’re already paying about $10,000 a year per capita for health care.

    So let’s say that Bernie Sanders became president and passed a single-payer health care system of some sort. And let’s say that it did indeed cost $15 trillion over 10 years. Would that be $15 trillion in new money we’d be spending? No, it would be money that we’re already spending on health care, but now it would go through government. If I told you I could cut your health insurance premiums by $1,000 and increase your taxes by $1,000, you wouldn’t have lost $1,000. You’d be in the same place you are now.
    And another rather important point:

    There’s something else to keep in mind: every single-payer system in the world, and there are many of them of varying flavors, is cheaper than the American health care system. Every single one. So whatever you might say about Sanders’ advocacy for a single-payer system, you can’t say it represents some kind of profligate, free-spending idea that would cost us all terrible amounts of money.
    The stats back that up. The UK has a "free" (OK, taxes pay for it, whatever), public health system. In 2015 total healthcare spending per capita in USD for the UK was $3235. For the US it was $8713 - over twice as expensive. That'd be all fine and dandy if your healthcare system ranked in the top tier for quality as it does for cost, but it doesn't. WHO rankings put the US at #37 for healthcare, behind the UK at #18 as well as most of the rest of Europe. Stats from other European nations are similar, many even better.

    That's just one aspect of the debate. You can then look into increased spending on infrastructure (Much needed in the US from what I hear). That'd create a ton of jobs, reduce unemployment, improve industry all the while increasing tax revenue as you'd have more skilled workers out there paying taxes. There's a whole bunch of other policies that'd be beneficial and are by no means extreme socialism, free, or at least affordable higher education being a big one. The benefits to that are huge - especially in this day and age where more money than even should be spent on science and technology - which requires having educated people to fill those roles. Seriously, the way some Americans react to a little socialism you'd think the Soviets were on their way to invade.

    Yes, I agree, you'll always have some people abusing the system, people that don't want to work. However, that small fraction of people can be reduced by giving them some opportunity and a chance for prosperity. Even then - it is just that, a small fraction. In every system I've seen the benefits outweigh any costs.

    As for corruption ... look at your current system, it's already corrupt. Going more socialist isn't going to make that worse.

    Edit: Colouredmirrorball makes some good points too.
    Last edited by Diachi; 03-15-2016 at 12:07.

  8. #28
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    I'll vote Bernie because that seems like the shortest path to a country where the person with the biggest laser (and most cans of beans) wins ...

  9. #29
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    I feel like commenting again but I'll keep it short.

    Quote Originally Posted by absolom7691 View Post
    The more the government gives you, the more it needs to take.
    Not true. It would be if the only income a government had was through taxation, but that's not the only method. Government can own corporations, for example. Even if there was only taxation, why does it need to take more than it gives, provided it's not corrupt and uses the resources efficiently? if it can't, why not?

    I think why socialism *and* capitalism don't work very well is because they both assume people are perfect beings who only intend to do good to each other and know better or that somehow they can be made to behave like that when they are the ones who vote. In one case it's more about the people in the government and on the other its about people in the society. People are people, we all kind of suck.

    About Bernie: I don't see anything wrong with him honestly, except that he seems to hope too much from just taxing the rich more. I probably haven't done enough research about his plan and that's because I still think he can't beat Hillary so it will be a waste of my time.

    About Trump: I still don't see people giving a real argument against him. It's either "he's a dick" or "he doesn't know what he's talking about". Can anyone give an actual example of why people shouldn't vote for him?

    Whoever wins I think people from both sides of the camp assume more to change than actually will. There's still the congress, courts, president is not the supreme leader who will be able to change everything he wants by himself in one term, provided he/she will actually *do* what he/she says he/she will, which is also pretty slim.
    Last edited by ghosttrain; 03-15-2016 at 12:30.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by absolom7691 View Post
    Socialism is intrinsically flawed.
    Your narrow definition of it is flawed. Socialism is all around you and is working quite well. EXTREME or TOTAL socialism is arguably flawed, but that doesn't exist anywhere outside of a freshman political science classroom.

    This is where I don't see Bernie as the big bad socialist candidate everyone is making him out to be.
    Exactly my point. He is promoting socialist changes to a few key areas (most notably health care and education). He is taking the lessons learned in Europe and proposing that we try some of them here. For that, he is crucified in the media as a "Socialist", as if it were a terrible insult.

    those who can't put into the system and those who make poor life choices, the possibility of corruption and the enormous cost of socialism makes it flawed in my eyes.
    I suggest you educate yourself on the "enormous cost" part. Hint: it's not nearly as much as you think, unless you are a 1%er. In fact, those of us who earn less than $220,000 annually would likely see a DROP in our federal tax rate.

    Then consider the fact that you might fall into the category of "made a poor life choice". These days that can be something as simple as choosing the wrong employer and losing your job at an inopportune time. In fact, prior to ACA, that could include something like being overweight and contracting type 2 diabetes, only to discover that you now can't buy health insurance due to a pre-existing condition! Poor life choices doesn't just apply to drug addicts and idiot college students who run up $150,000 in debt getting a masters in obscure French poetry...

    Finally, corruption (or worse, fraud) is always a concern, with any government program. It's not something that is caused by socialist policies, however. (You can have fraud and corruption no matter what flavor of government you choose.)

    The idea that we can "save" everyone, though noble, is just impractical.
    Bernie is certainly not claiming to be able to save everyone. Germany, France, Belgium, the UK, Sweden, Denmark, Austria (insert your favorite country here) are not trying to save everyone either. But they do try to save more than we do, and they succeed where we fail.

    Adam

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