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Liberals vs. Conservatives

post #1 of 113
Thread Starter 
KCRW's To the Point podcast with an intelligent (uh oh) discussion on the division between liberals and conservatives in America.

http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/M...dItemId=146198

Here is a better, direct URL:

http://kcrw.com/podcast/show/tp

This is a useful discussion to listen to.
post #2 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
KCRW's To the Point podcast with an intelligent (uh oh) discussion on the division between liberals and conservatives in America.

http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/M...dItemId=146198

Here is a better, direct URL:

http://kcrw.com/podcast/show/tp

This is a useful discussion to listen to.

While this may be useful, it currently does not offer anything other than links. Please add something to your post...
post #3 of 113
I don't find the division between the two all the evident in some cases.

Bush is the most liberal Republican we've had in years in some things(big gubment)

Some liberals are actually quite conservative in ways. I wish it was more clear cut but humans were never meant to be that easy.

I'm all over the place. I can be conservative in areas but pretty liberal in others.
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post #4 of 113
I had a thought on this a while back, let me share. It's not necessarily good vs. bad. It's: Short term vs. long term. Conservatives focus on the short term, with tax cuts, and enriching their own lives. They do not care about social reform or any other program that would take time to have effect. They do not care about the environment because it won't affect them, especially in their lifetime. They do not care about their kids, or kids/old people in general, because they are not affected, and therefore vote against education and social security.

It is really simple. Long term versus short term. The debate on global warming I think is the strongest issue to highlight this dichotomy. It is not necessarily bad, just a different way of thinking. I care about what happens to America and the world in 100 years. I care about social reforms that may take 30 or 50 years. Conservatives do not. They focus on the here and now. Just a different way of thinking. So I think nearly every issue that pits conservatives against liberals can be looked at through this lense.
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post #5 of 113
That's an interesting way of looking at it. When you further get into it, it is made clear that neither method is inherently bad. If you're only looking to the future then how will you take care of shit today, and if you only worry about today's problems, how will you prepare for tomorrows.

That said, I do think that conservatism is a dated way of looking at a great many things. As we enter(ed) the computer/communication age, lots of things changed, including our ability to see past today. Ironically, a large part of what defines conservatism is stubbornness (or down right fear) to change, so that even if a thinking and rational minded conservative were to recognize that their methods aren't necessarily worthwhile for society, they'd still be reluctant and/or impossible to change. *shrug*

This topic ties into the thread I made a little while back about 'why' anyone would want to be a conservative.
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post #6 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by Aquatic
I had a thought on this a while back, let me share. It's not necessarily good vs. bad. It's: Short term vs. long term. Conservatives focus on the short term, with tax cuts, and enriching their own lives.

Conservatives do not think only about the short term or even exclusively about tax cuts. There is a large difference betweeen contributing to the common pot for the common good and justifying the crime of stealing with good intentions. How easy is it to claim you are enriching the life of someone while taking the work, time and money of a different person. This is akin to claiming you showed good hospitality on the plantation becuase you made your slaves work hard for your guests. Even if the intentions are well placed, the actions used to achieve them are wrong.

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They do not care about the environment because it won't affect them, especially in their lifetime.

This is not correct. There are plenty of conservatives who care about the environment. However they believe that the environment can be managed and cared for while also serving human needs. They do not treat humans as a plague that by their very nature destroy the planet with their presence. Also they know that economic progress has allowed us to be more productive, and there is hope that eventually this economic progress will lead to clean and everlasting forms of energy.

In the meantime the current forms of energy might be more dirty, but they have extended life expectancy, allowed us to feed billions, made life better for all and claiming all this should be thrown away when the path of progress can still clearly lead to the clean variety of energy is just shortsighted and irresponsible.

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They do not care about their kids, or kids/old people in general, because they are not affected, and therefore vote against education and social security.

As someone who works in education, I can tell you that throwing money at the problem doesn't solve it. There are a multitude of issues that we have to discuss and address as a society before that money will effectively help children. Arguing that we need to have these discussions BEFORE we spend the money does not mean one hates kids.

The same is true for Social Security. It started as a program to insure the elderly did not end up indigent. It started at 65 when the average life expectancy was actually 65. To question why we might want to reform the most REGRESSIVE tax we have at the federal level isn't a sign you hate the eldery. We have people living in million dollar homes on golf courses receiving Social Security starting at the age of 63 when they will now live to be almost 80. Also the eldery poverty rate is HALF of what the rate is for children. The short term view is that it keeps these folks happy and buys their votes. The long term view is that it is not ethical to run up deficits for the elderly and leave them to the children that already have to experience double the poverty rate of those elder so that the elderly may retire in style.

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It is really simple. Long term versus short term. The debate on global warming I think is the strongest issue to highlight this dichotomy. It is not necessarily bad, just a different way of thinking. I care about what happens to America and the world in 100 years.

Then you will support the economic progress that has brought about our current lifestyle and hope it will achieve as better future lifestyle. We have been watching this progress for decades now. You will not kill it today out of fear it will fail to achieve a future clean goal. The desire to kill it today is short term thinking. The long view says that these companies will continue to improve and refine their manufactoring processes and might one day be able to create clean energy on the cheap. We are already moving into hybrid vehicles. Governments do not bring about productivity improvements. Businesses wanting to improve profits find ways to redesign, refine, and achieve more with less. We should do our best and let this process continue instead of pushing for short term solutions that punish millions of people economically and in their day to day living.

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I care about social reforms that may take 30 or 50 years. Conservatives do not. They focus on the here and now. Just a different way of thinking. So I think nearly every issue that pits conservatives against liberals can be looked at through this lense.

I disagree and can easily show how many liberal views are short sighted. Take affirmative action as the best example. Society is naturally moving toward a state or racial equality. This happens as more communication and competition is necessary in economic realms. The short term view says admit people into college because of their skin college, don't really care about if they graduate, just admit them. And fix racism by continuing to dwell on race and act in racist manners.

The long view is that you cannot just legislate that a number come up a certain way and that people who desire that path will find a way to achieve it. Black colleges still popped up all over the South and did great jobs even with Jim Crow laws. Sure perhaps today UCLA is too asian and not enough black. However just admitting that black student doesn't insure he will get what he needs to graduate and succeed. Studies have repeatedly shown that students admitted under affirmative action criteria drop out at hugely disproportionate rates. Perhaps he enrolls at a smaller UC campus, or perhaps at a CSU or community college. At these places he is admitted according to the merit of what he can accomplish and gets appropriate help. He isn't the small fish in the ocean with no additional resources helping him. As a result, he graduates.

The long view looks at graduation, not just who is admitted.

Let's look at the long view of abortion. Since it is understood that a child is now a choice, and not just something that naturally happens, when you make the choice for having the child, society feels it is fair in allowing you to suffer for that choice since you could have prevented it or made a different choice. The long view has noted that abortion is a quick fix and indeed whether you support it or not, it has not improved the lot of children in our society by any measure. If anything it has made it much easier for society to say it is simply a choice and you must live with the consequences.

I could go on, but unless you can see conservative views as something other than evil+selfish, there really isn't a point.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #7 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by Wrong Robot
That's an interesting way of looking at it. When you further get into it, it is made clear that neither method is inherently bad. If you're only looking to the future then how will you take care of shit today, and if you only worry about today's problems, how will you prepare for tomorrows.

A view towards the future means that you don't simply decide to rearrange society or pass laws that demand change because some college kids decided the world should change on their watch.

A good example is marriage. We have had all sort of liberal changes passed with regard to marriage. As a result the institution and at times society is falling apart. We had a discussion about this in another thread recently but most of the highest quintile of households end up there because they consist of two married people who are well educated and work full time.

The short term view says you can declare yourself tolerant today when you pretend that a single mom can be the same as a man and a woman. The long term view knows that those sort of households end up making up the majority of poor households. The short term view says that no-fault divorce is acceptable because someone might be bored or doesn't want to be "trapped" in a marriage that was a binding contract. Now they can break that contract at anytime and society and especially children pay the price. The long term view understands that, the short term view states that you were so tolerant that you supported the law regardless of the long term consequences.

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That said, I do think that conservatism is a dated way of looking at a great many things. As we enter(ed) the computer/communication age, lots of things changed, including our ability to see past today.

Just because we can see past today doesn't mean that what is effective changes. The whole dot com bust should have taught us that. Just because it is new and claims to improve doesn't mean it will make a single life better or earn a single cent. It is akin to claiming that because your daughter has a cell phone, the guy won't be able to get into her pants or that she somehow won't be able to get pregnant.

Technology allows the cheating husband to instant message with the other woman. How is that an improvement? Now the teenager can use her cell phone to "hook up" with her boyfriend without the parents have any knowlege of what happened. How is this an improvement?

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Ironically, a large part of what defines conservatism is stubbornness (or down right fear) to change, so that even if a thinking and rational minded conservative were to recognize that their methods aren't necessarily worthwhile for society, they'd still be reluctant and/or impossible to change. *shrug*

I think any rational personal would realize that the nature of humans are not going to change just because some now ideal or new product claims it will change them. Something is either effective or it is not. It isn't more effective simply because one is tolerant, or accepting, it is effective because it works. To substitute what works for an unproven change is the height of short term thinking. It makes one feel good today, but doesn't think at all about the future.

It is much harder for me to simply be a good parent than to spoil my child. The child may cry today. It may even claim he hates me today. However over the long run, the rules and habits that are objectively proven to work (like say brushing teeth twice a day) are worth it. Consideration of more than feelings is necessary and I think conservativism is much better at this than liberalism. The feminst revolution may have freed your daughter from needing a man for marriage, but did the folks who were pushing it really think about middle schoolers hooking up for oral sex in the school bathrooms when they were pushing their agenda? I don't think they did. When we don't think about the true purpose and nature of certain institutions or actions in our society we cannot predict the results when we unilaterally change them. Keeping this in mind is not a short term view by any means. It is a very long term view.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #8 of 113
Conservative views are by and large defended by selfish reasoning. That speaks volumes about this view point even if one conservative doesn't believe he is selfish.

The tax cuts will benefit you. Under a conservative government the state will be less involved in your affairs (a blatant falsitude, clearly). etc etc etc.

So unless you can point out reasons why conservative ideologies don't by and large appear focused on serving the individual desire or corporate desire, I am not buying the conservatives are not selfish routine.

At the same time, I don't think liberals always have the long term future or society at their heart. This is simply because many lack the pragmatism that would be required for such planning to occur.

At some level there is a nice in-between for the lofty goals of liberals and society and the uber-pragmatic conservative approach to life (which unfortunately serves itself most of the time)...

Actually, I suspect there are a breed of people like that already but they are liberals whose voices aren't shrill enough to be heard over the sometimes irrelevent raison d'etre of the day...
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post #9 of 113
There is a pollitical test you can take, which plots you on a graph (one axis is social liberal vs social conservative, the other axis is financial liberal vs financial conservative).

http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz.html

There are 5 areas on the graph - you get put into either Liberal, Conservative, Libertarian, Statist or Centrist.

I am on the junction of liberal, centrist, and libertarian.
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post #10 of 113
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by e1618978
There is a pollitical test you can take, which plots you on a graph (one axis is social liberal vs social conservative, the other axis is financial liberal vs financial conservative).

http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz.html

There are 5 areas on the graph - you get put into either Liberal, Conservative, Libertarian, Statist or Centrist.

I am on the junction of liberal, centrist, and libertarian.

Interesting quiz. I have seen others but not this one (before today).

I fall on the line between conservative and libertarian.

I'd like to see a more detailed questionaire as I think it might provide a "higher resolution" picture of someone's position.

Finally, the way questions are asked can be vitally important in these quizzes.

Here are some others:

http://www.politicalcompass.org/
http://www.quiz2d.com/
http://franz.org/quiz.htm
http://www.moral-politics.com/
http://www.zackvision.com/weblog/arc...ry/000024.html

Haven't taken any of these yet. Will do so for some fun/entertainment.
post #11 of 113

I took this one, and I ended up in the lower right hand quadrent. I was a little dissapointed that was the only empty one - none of the world's leaders share my views. Sigh.
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post #12 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by hardeeharhar
Conservative views are by and large defended by selfish reasoning. That speaks volumes about this view point even if one conservative doesn't believe he is selfish.

The fruit of one's own labors are selfish? I wonder how long you would have this view if youw were the slave versus the plantation owner?

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The tax cuts will benefit you. Under a conservative government the state will be less involved in your affairs (a blatant falsitude, clearly). etc etc etc.

Letting you keep the result of your own labor will benefit you and this is bad. Obviously you believe that the government owns you and that any attempt you make to prove this wrong is "selfish."

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So unless you can point out reasons why conservative ideologies don't by and large appear focused on serving the individual desire or corporate desire, I am not buying the conservatives are not selfish routine.

No one has to prove crap to you. If you want to live in ignorance, then enjoy it. People exist for the benefit of themselves first. They are not owned by society or even well intentioned members of society for whom they must slave away or devote their lives. To demand such a thing while calling it compassionate and selfless is the height of stupidity.

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At the same time, I don't think liberals always have the long term future or society at their heart. This is simply because many lack the pragmatism that would be required for such planning to occur.

Yes much like as sounded in your rhetoric, we all learn that bad actions even when supported by good intentions do not work over the long term.

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At some level there is a nice in-between for the lofty goals of liberals and society and the uber-pragmatic conservative approach to life (which unfortunately serves itself most of the time)...

More like when you take a persons money, you also have listen to their input and maybe even reflect or consider the values that they have. It is nonsense to take money from peope and use it against them. Many better off people desire to help others but make judgements in doing so to insure they are giving a hand up and not a hand out. Such judgements do not sit well with those who steal in an attempt to buy votes under the guise of bettering society or who wish to transform society but find the values they promote do not actually create or sustain the wealth necessary to bring about and continue a change.

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Actually, I suspect there are a breed of people like that already but they are liberals whose voices aren't shrill enough to be heard over the sometimes irrelevent raison d'etre of the day...

Or perhaps they were tossed out of the party because they believe in a god, because they think equal opportunity doesn't mean equal outcome, or because they didn't buy into the belief that everyone in life is a victim that must be compensated in some manner.

Nick

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #13 of 113
Conservatives generally kill, starve, enslave, subjugate, oppress, discriminate, and destroy. There. This glib debate has reached its zenith.
post #14 of 113
Quote:
Conservative views are by and large defended by selfish reasoning.

That is about as constructive as the following:

Liberal views are by and large defended by state centered benefits analysis. The individual can be harmed in any way, and subjegated to the will of the state.

All forms of intellectual persuit, such as investigations of nurture vs nature, can and will be squashed if they start to contridict deeply held state views.

All property is subject to confiscation by the state, and the state can control all aspects of education and medical care. The use of language will be restricted in a pollitically correct way, to prevent anyone from having hurt feelings.

Foreign relations will be performed by highly paid diplomats with $1M expense accounts and limo drivers. Any attack on our facilities or people will be analysed to find out what we did to cause such distress in our enemies.

Success will be discouraged in the state, as anyone who earns more than the norm is obviously a criminal. Those that earn less than the norm will be subsidised, regardless of their contribution to the state.

Vested interests in the state can benefit from convoluted trade laws, and those interests are chosen based on how "natural" they are perceived to be.

Science and technology will be regulated by the state, as new things could be harmful. The bulk of research money will go to modern artists and native indian historians.
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post #15 of 113
Thread Starter 
This thread is actually starting to make me laugh.
post #16 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by Aquatic
I had a thought on this a while back, let me share. It's not necessarily good vs. bad. It's: Short term vs. long term.

There's no doubt that Bush's approach to government budgeting reflects this. Let's hope that it's just political expediency rather than a core element of their philosophy.
post #17 of 113
Where does liberal imply tax 'em to death?

What the fuck is a hand up (and do they truely exist except by way of education)?

And how on earth do you know what I think about any number of government social programs, corporate social programs (what a gas), and private social programs?



oh and Eric, the government provides the vast majority of funding of Basic Science Research in this country and can decide at the drop of a hat to stop funding essential research. Pharmas don't do BSR at all.

I have never claimed that a government can do everything, but I am also not stupid enough to claim that it can't do anything.

Liberalism has nothing at its heart to do with government. Liberalism has nothing at its heart to do with tax structures. Liberalism has nothing at its heart to do with a particular party.

So suck it up.
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post #18 of 113
Thread Starter 
Going through those surveys/quizzes got me to thinking a bit more carefully about this subject. A couple of things:

1. What someone believes/thinks/values doesn't necessarily have to connect to a government action. For example, if I believe that homosexuality is wrong, that might be a "morally conservative" view, but I might also agree that the "government has no business in my bedroom", which would likely be considered a more "legally/governmentally liberal" view.

2. Today's political parties do not necessarily provide us very good examples of true conservativism or liberalism. So jumping to specific political parties, agendas or figures is not generally all that useful.

In a basic, dictionary definition sense of things, conservatism is about respecting an established or traditional way of doing things, where liberalism is about desiring "progressive" change. Neither of these are inherently bad, it is usually only at the extremes where they are problematic.

Change just for the sake of change, or the fact that someone doesn't understand why things are the way they are, is foolishness.

Similarly, non-change/traditionalism just because "that's the way we've always done it" is just as foolish.

In my observation it is ignorant fools that polarize strictly into either camp. Wisdom suggests that some things should not be changed, while other things should be.

Now...back to the more colloquial definitions of conservatism and liberalism...in regards to government relationship with its citizens.

Conservatism seems to have a core distrust of government and its ability to "fix" or "improve" things (particularly the lives of its citizens) in aggregate.

Liberalism seems to have more confidence in the ability of government to "fix" or "improve" things (particularly the lives of its citizens).

What is intresting though is some apparently glaring contradictions.

On the one hand a more liberal perspective would suggest that people should be free do do what they wish sexually speaking, women should have a "choice" of abortion...however...the public schools know best how to educate and raise my children, the government should be able to intervene in my parenting, and the death penalty doesn't "respect life".

There are similar apparent contradictions from conservative voices.
post #19 of 113
Conservatives don't like government. They want less of it. Yet they benefit the most from it. From the structure of civilization. This is HOW the rich got rich. They therefore should pay more back in to the government. Thoughts?
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post #20 of 113
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Aquatic
Conservatives don't like government. They want less of it. Yet they benefit the most from it.

Hmmm. Seems like a dubious deduction.

How do "conservatives" benefit most from government?

Quote:
Originally posted by Aquatic
From the structure of civilization. This is HOW the rich got rich.

All conservatives are rich? All rich are conservatives? Conservatives got rich from government? Rich became rich through government?

Not sure at all what you are saying here.

Quote:
Originally posted by Aquatic
They therefore should pay more back in to the government. Thoughts?

Conservatives? Rich people?

Rich people do pay more in taxes.
post #21 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by Aquatic
Conservatives don't like government. They want less of it. Yet they benefit the most from it. From the structure of civilization. This is HOW the rich got rich. They therefore should pay more back in to the government. Thoughts?

Conservatives only benefit most from the first 40% of government - the parts that provide for national security, law enforcement, infrastructure and the SEC. These things really benefit everyone.

The second 30% is payments on the national debt, which is basically the costs of WWII + interest. Winning WWII was in the best interests of all citizens.

The last 30% is all social programs that don't benefit the rich in the slightest.

I'd say that the rich benefit less from most government expendatures.
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post #22 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by e1618978
Conservatives only benefit most from the first 40% of government - the parts that provide for national security, law enforcement, infrastructure and the SEC. These things really benefit everyone.

The second 30% is payments on the national debt, which is basically the costs of WWII + interest. Winning WWII was in the best interests of all citizens.

The last 30% is all social programs that don't benefit the rich in the slightest.

I'd say that the rich benefit less from most government expendatures.

Conservatives != the wealthiest

Conservatives = moral conservatives, often not wealthy... benefit by big government stepping in to take Judy's right to an abortion away and make Micheal and Tom's wish to get married a fantasy.

Conservatives = ecomonic conservatives, often wealthy...
benefit by big government giving tax breaks to businesses, pro-business laws, as well as social programs for workers to take the costs of providing health care, job security measures including training programs off of them etc etc...

Conservatives = those that hate any social program whatsoever. if they aren't getting ahead by government programs no one should (ie Nick).

Conservatives = insane near facsist 'merica is always right, well this one is obvious.

Conservatives = good old boys, small national government types big state government types who want to kill them some [explicative deleted]... these are the proud migrants from the old school racist democratic party... I don't know how you would handle these guys... really their rational is that if the national government is serving their unethical intentions, then a mighty government should exist... history does not look kindly on these sorts.

Conservatives = Strict constructionist libertarians, the constitution is as far as the national government should go. Get rid of the cabinet. etc etc etc

These people somehow fit into one party...
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post #23 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by e1618978
The second 30% is payments on the national debt, which is basically the costs of WWII + interest. Winning WWII was in the best interests of all citizens.

National debt consists of WWII costs?
Are you *kidding* me? I believed most people here were better informed/educated than that.



As you can see, the vast majority of our current national debt came about during the years of Reagan and Bush(es) - you know, the "conservatives."
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post #24 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by e1618978
The second 30% is payments on the national debt, which is basically the costs of WWII + interest. Winning WWII was in the best interests of all citizens.

The debt went down and down (as a % of GDP) from WWII until 1980, when conservatives took power. Then it went up and up after that. Our current debt certainly wasn't caused by WWII. The current debt was caused by tax cuts enacted by Reagan and W. And we all know who those tax cuts overwhelmingly benefit.

FormerLurker beat me to it.
post #25 of 113
And no - it's NOT "just because of inflation"

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post #26 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
Conservatism seems to have a core distrust of government and its ability to "fix" or "improve" things (particularly the lives of its citizens) in aggregate.

Liberalism seems to have more confidence in the ability of government to "fix" or "improve" things (particularly the lives of its citizens).

I think this is pure marketing by conservatives. I don't doubt that many conservatives believe this and vote the way they do because they believe this. But let me give you the liberal view.

I don't think conservatism has anything to do with "distrust of government," and no liberal loves government the way a conservative does. Conservatives believe that government should direct our private lives so intimately that it should tell consenting adults where to stick their dicks. They believe so strongly in our government, right or wrong, that when it comes to foreign policy and fighting wars, any liberal critical of its actions is accused of "hating America" and considered a traitor. They believe so much in government that they trust it getting involved with religion. They believe in such a powerful and omnipotent government that it should be permitted to execute its citizens.

That's how most liberals view your supposed "distrust of government."

It seems to us liberals that the only place conservatives think there should be a less powerful government is when it comes to the "liberty" of being in the underclass. When liberals hear talk of how conservatives want low taxes simply because they distrust government, we put it into the context of conservatives' love of government in every other respect, and we simply don't buy it.
post #27 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by FormerLurker
And no - it's NOT "just because of inflation"


My point still stands, your graph re-inforces it. The only distorting influence is the high debt payments that must have been made from 1950-1980, because the US was in the post war boom - if it wasn't for the post war boom, the graph would be more linear. 1980 was about when the Japaneese started to eat our lunch.

WW II cost (inflation adjusted) $2 trillion dollars. Add interest to that and you have the current national debt.

And anyway, you are pretty choosy about who you blame for stuff. Remember that the democrats had control of both the house and senate during this time:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_...epresentatives

"However, after winning the elections of 1954, the Democratic Party would maintain control of the House for the next forty years." (i.e. until Newt in 1995)

How exactly did Regan have the power to rack up the debt?
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post #28 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by e1618978
My point still stands, your graph re-inforces it. The only distorting influence is the high debt payments that must have been made from 1950-1980, because the US was in the post war boom - if it wasn't for the post war boom, the graph would be more linear. 1980 was about when the Japaneese started to eat our lunch.

WW II cost (inflation adjusted) $2 trillion dollars. Add interest to that and you have the current national debt.


This is your explanation for why the debt went from under 2 trillion to over 7 trillion in the last 25 years - "the Japanese started to eat our lunch?"
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post #29 of 113
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
I think this is pure marketing by conservatives. I don't doubt that many conservatives believe this and vote the way they do because they believe this. But let me give you the liberal view.

I don't think conservatism has anything to do with "distrust of government," and no liberal loves government the way a conservative does. Conservatives believe that government should direct our private lives so intimately that it should tell consenting adults where to stick their dicks. They believe so strongly in our government, right or wrong, that when it comes to foreign policy and fighting wars, any liberal critical of its actions is accused of "hating America" and considered a traitor. They believe so much in government that they trust it getting involved with religion. They believe in such a powerful and omnipotent government that it should be permitted to execute its citizens.

That's how most liberals view your supposed "distrust of government."

It seems to us liberals that the only place conservatives think there should be a less powerful government is when it comes to the "liberty" of being in the underclass. When liberals hear talk of how conservatives want low taxes simply because they distrust government, we put it into the context of conservatives' love of government in every other respect, and we simply don't buy it.

I think you are getting all of "Republican" and "conservative" and specific political figures and agendas muddled up.
post #30 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by e1618978
How exactly did Regan have the power to rack up the debt?

That's a pretty easy one.

By slashing taxes for the wealthy while drastically increasing peacetime defense spending. These were his program, not something that was proposed by Congress.
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post #31 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by FormerLurker
That's a pretty easy one.

By slashing taxes for the wealthy while drastically increasing peacetime defense spending. These were his program, not something that was proposed by Congress.

And how did those programs pass the house vote?

And yes, the economic boom after the war gave everyone in the US (and therefore the government) a lot of income to spend on keeping the debt down. Don't you remember all the problems in the early 80s? The 13% rate on treasury bonds because of the recession? This is why we started cranking up the debt.
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post #32 of 113
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by FormerLurker
That's a pretty easy one.

By slashing taxes for the wealthy while drastically increasing peacetime defense spending. These were his program, not something that was proposed by Congress.

Well...he slashed taxes generally...slashing them just on the wealthy (well, depending on what you define to be "wealthy") wouldn't have done that.
post #33 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by e1618978
And how did those programs pass the house vote?

Oh come on. You can't blame the Democrats, who BTW controlled only the House and not the Senate, for what was Reagan's agenda. Yes, many - though not all - Democrats caved in to the political pressure to cut taxes, just as they did in Bush's first term.

But it was Reagan's agenda that we could cut taxes, increase spending, and magically grow our way out of debt. It simply did not work, as anyone with common sense at the time predicted. We didn't get on a path to get out of deficit until Democrats took over, raised taxes, constrained spending, and were resoundingly kicked out of office for their efforts.

Republicans don't like that, and I'm not saying Democrats are saints or anything, but when it comes to budgeting, Republican presidents just fuck things up. There used to be many Republicans in Congress who cared about these things, but they seem to have gone into hiding since Bush took office.
post #34 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
Well...he slashed taxes generally...slashing them just on the wealthy (well, depending on what you define to be "wealthy") wouldn't have done that.

I'll go with a revised quote of "..slashed taxes, especially on the most wealthy...."

You may not be 'happy' with that but I'm sure you're happier with it than the previous version.
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post #35 of 113
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by FormerLurker
I'll go with a revised quote of "..slashed taxes, especially on the most wealthy...."

You may not be 'happy' with that but I'm sure you're happier with it than the previous version.

Well...I'm just dealing with the statistical fact that most tax revenue comes from the "middle of a bell curve" (i.e., the middle class tax payers).

EDIT: I have been corrected...see below...

EDIT 2: However...this site provides a little more information about who the "rich" are (the top 10%). The AGI number goes much lower than many might imagine.

EDIT 3: And this site provides even more information.

It kind of boils down to what you call "rich". I know where my pre-tax and AGI numbers are in comparison to these tables...and I would not call myself "rich".
post #36 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
Well...I'm just dealing with the statistical fact that most tax revenue comes from the "middle of a bell curve" (i.e., the middle class tax payers).

Not true, most tax comes from the top.

From BRussels post on another thread:

Top 10%
Share of all income: 42%
Share of all taxes: 50%

Top 5%
Share of all income: 31%
Share of all taxes: 38%

Top 1%
Share of all income: 16%
Share of all taxes: 22%

BRussel - if the democrats "gave in to pollitical pressure", then they should not have been elected. This is just more of the bullshit democrat thinking that says that only Republicans are responstible for their own actions.

It looks like the Senate bounced back and forth between the democrats and republicans during this period:

http://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/his...s/partydiv.htm

But the house never left democratic control.

Thinking back (to 1980, when I was 13 , it seems like the oil crisis and inflation kicked in during Carter's watch, which caused the interest rate on the debt to jump to 13% when the FED tried to control that inflation, which caused the spike in the national debt. Once it broke through the ceiling that we could control, it started building and has not stopped since.

Can a real economist (if there is one reading) please weigh in on the cause of the jump in national debt during the 1980s?
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post #37 of 113
Thread Starter 
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post #38 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by e1618978
BRussel - if the democrats "gave in to pollitical pressure", then they should not have been elected. This is just more of the bullshit democrat thinking that says that only Republicans are responstible for their own actions.

Let's see, it was a Republican idea, a Republican president proposed it, Republicans all voted for it, a majority of Democrats voted against it, and yet you say "how did Reagan have the power" and when Democrats protest that they're blamed for it, you call it "bullshit democrat thinking." Uh huh.

Those who voted for it do deserve to be blamed. I voted against my Democratic Senator, Max Baucus, because he voted for all of Bush's bullshit. But you're trying to claim Reagan had nothing to do with it.
post #39 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
Let's see, it was a Republican idea, a Republican president proposed it, Republicans all voted for it, a majority of Democrats voted against it, and yet you say "how did Reagan have the power" and when Democrats protest that they're blamed for it, you call it "bullshit democrat thinking." Uh huh.

Those who voted for it do deserve to be blamed. I voted against my Democratic Senator, Max Baucus, because he voted for all of Bush's bullshit. But you're trying to claim Reagan had nothing to do with it.

1. The president can't propose bills, only senators and congressmen can.

2. The Democrats had control of the house for 40 years at this point, it does not wash to state that they voted for something because they were afraid of losing control of the house. Those democrats that voted for it did because it was a good idea at the time.

I never said that Regan did not have anything to do with the tax cuts - I just objectected to you saying that it was a republian thing. It was a bipartisan thing.

3. We were in the worst recession in the last half of the 20th century, and the tax cut got us out of it. I say that the national debt would have been even more now if the interest rate had stayed up longer.

4. That recession was a hangover from the Democratic Carter administration. It wasn't really Carter's fault, but OPEC's fault:

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

If OPEC had not killed us with their oil cartel, the economy would not have gone into stagflation with the highest post-WWII interest rates (13%), and not only would Regans's tax cuts not have been nessessary to end it all, but also the added interest expense on the debt would have not been a factor.


Again, we need a real economist to settle this.
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post #40 of 113
Quote:
Originally posted by e1618978
1. The president can't propose bills, only senators and congressmen can.

That's such a cop out. It was Reagan's agenda, passed by his allies in Congress. I really don't get it - was Reagan's agenda to cut taxes and increase military spending or wasn't it?
Quote:
2. The Democrats had control of the house for 40 years at this point, it does not wash to state that they voted for something because they were afraid of losing control of the house. Those democrats that voted for it did because it was a good idea at the time.

I never said that Regan did not have anything to do with the tax cuts - I just objectected to you saying that it was a republian thing. It was a bipartisan thing.

It was a bipartisan thing in the same way that Bush's tax cuts were a bipartisan thing, i.e., a Republican thing that the some Democrats voted for.

Quote:
3. We were in the worst recession in the last half of the 20th century, and the tax cut got us out of it. I say that the national debt would have been even more now if the interest rate had stayed up longer.

4. That recession was a hangover from the Democratic Carter administration. It wasn't really Carter's fault, but OPEC's fault:

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

If OPEC had not killed us with their oil cartel, the economy would not have gone into stagflation with the highest post-WWII interest rates (13%), and not only would Regans's tax cuts not have been nessessary to end it all, but also the added interest expense on the debt would have not been a factor.

Again, we need a real economist to settle this.

If you can't figure out for yourself that cutting taxes and increasing spending incurs debt, well, you must be a Republican.
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