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When did American conservatives lose their minds?

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Melchior
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#61

Posted 22 November 2013 - 04:29 AM

 

Healthcare, economic stimulus and progressive taxation spring to mind.

 

So the poor in the US are suffering because of a marked deficiency in economic central planning and inadequate levels of monetary confiscation? Okey-dokey.

Look, that's an appeal to ridicule. You can't frame a debate with your own meaningless jargon  in order to demean your opponent without making any relevant comment. Yes, boiled down to it's most simple form, that's what I'm saying: we're all better off with higher level of monetary confiscation, which is an end in itself. Sounds silly right? Probably because it's incredibly oversimlpified and expressed using loaded language ("confiscation" has undertones of illegitimacy and said illegitimacy is not established anywhere else in your post). What I'm actually saying is that a higher tax burden on the rich lessens the tax burden on other social classes.

 

Marked deficiency of economic central planning? I don't even really know what you're getting at with that, but yes, the economy improved with the stimulus, which the tea baggers opposed.

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WhatsStrength
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#62

Posted 22 November 2013 - 04:45 AM Edited by whatsstrength, 22 November 2013 - 04:46 AM.

Ron Paul was a popularist with utterly unworkable policies. He rode solely on the fact that he was different, anti-interventionist and decent public speaker. It seems to escape everyone that he's a lunatic, racist bigot- worse, of course, because he claimed that he never made the statements instead of admitting he had f*cked up.

He's also not even for gay marriage or legalising pot as people like to claim, he's for leaving it to the states. He's for devolving most issues to the states purely so the northen blue states can have all the equality and weed that they like, while in southern red states gays and women and non-Christians can be oppressed without yanky interference. 

 

I can't believe I actually used to support the guy, I was such a tool. I even went to one of his political rallies. Ever since I realized how f*cking stupid I was about that I've been terrified of political discussion because the truth is that I'm simply not that educated, the worst feeling in the world. I want to be able to discuss economics, health care and other topics without making an ass of myself.

 

Where would you recommend I start? Is it more important to know foreign policy or economics in the political arena? 

 

Spoiler


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#63

Posted 22 November 2013 - 06:06 AM Edited by Vlynor, 22 November 2013 - 06:12 AM.

 

 

I agree about corporations, but not income tax. If someone could give me a valid reason as to why a rich person should pay more in terms of percentage, please do, but I find it ridiculous to say it's a "fair share". If I make more money than you, I shouldn't be paying a larger percentage just because of that.

 

 

 

This is the thing with the American right. They frame debates with things that mean nothing. Why is the idea of paying a fair share ridiculous? We take more from people who have more to give, because we need money for stuff. What, we should drastically shrink the government or put a massive tax burden on the poor and middle class all to honour your arbitrary notion of fairness? And what would we gain for doing that? Literally the entire conservative script is based on things that mean nothing. You're just taking for granted that certain arbitrary things are right or wrong with no logic behind it.

 

Literally all you've said is "you shouldn't have to pay a higher tax percentage because you make more" which doesn't mean anything. Why should we have a flat tax? Because it's fair? By what metric of fairness?

 

Even if it were "fair" the purpose of taxation is to take peoples' money because we need it to get things done, it was never meant to be fair.

 

 

Simply put, I don't owe you more because I make more. And while that may seem like a foreign concept, might sound greedy, or whatever else; it's true. There is no reason why I would owe a higher percentage than you.

 

I'm in favor of the fair tax, which taxes based on consumption, and would be a more permanent solution to tax evasion, immigration, and taxes in general. I think that would be a more fair option, anyway, since if the rich spent more they'd pay more in taxes. It wouldn't take money away from someone just because they made more of it, only if they spent more of it.


Melchior
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#64

Posted 22 November 2013 - 06:49 AM

Simply put, I don't owe you more because I make more. And while that may seem like a foreign concept, might sound greedy, or whatever else; it's true.

By what measure is it "true"? It's just some arbitrary thing you made up.

 

 

 

Simply put, I don't owe you more because I make more.

You don't "owe" anyone. It's just that you have money that we need so we take it. More money means we take more because we need money to do things, like build and maintain those roads and schools and hospitals that you rely on for your very existence This is a very immature (and again, arbitrary) position that you have. 

 

 

 

I'm in favor of the fair tax, which taxes based on consumption, and would be a more permanent solution to tax evasion, immigration, and taxes in general. I think that would be a more fair option, anyway, since if the rich spent more they'd pay more in taxes. It wouldn't take money away from someone just because they made more of it, only if they spent more of it.

Excessive saving in the upper income brackets is kind of a problem. It would be kind of silly if we let the rich put all their money under their mattress when there are bridges to build. And by your own standards, doesn't this also penalise people who make more money by taxing their consumption, which you presumably think they've earned? Shouldn't we all just have to pay a fixed amount every year regardless of income if we're going to adhere to your to idea of fairness?


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#65

Posted 22 November 2013 - 08:10 AM

Any human being that doesn't think Nixon was a dirty rat prick son of a bitch bastard has some sanity issues.

 

Not the best person, but a good president, excluding watergate. 

 

I like the idea of conservatism. It's pretty much just notalgia of the "good"/prosperous times. The problem with that is that in those times, it was only good if you're middle-class/rich and white. 

 

Progression is inevitable, and i think that's why.


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#66

Posted 22 November 2013 - 09:27 AM

Chunkyman, do you believe in the universality of rights? Because all your arguments seem to come from the basic assumption that by their very nature the actions of centralised governments in relation to tax and the restriction of liberties as part of the Social Contract is empirically and undeniably wrong. It becomes very difficult to argue with someone whose basic view on the ethics of taxation is a very roundabout way of saying "it's wrong because it's wrong".

There's no socially or economically merit-worthy argument against Ordliberalism or the Nordic Model because they both result in higher comparative economic productivity, higher levels of participant satisfaction, higher average income and lower economic disparity. It's not possible to argue that these models are somehow flawed in comparison to non-interventionist libertarian capitalism because the nations that hold them are statistically superior by every relevant objective and subjective measure. So for me it seems that your whole argument boils down to your belief that taxation is objectively morally wrong and therefore the belief in objective and universal moral values by principle.

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#67

Posted 22 November 2013 - 05:53 PM

There's no socially or economically merit-worthy argument against Ordliberalism or the Nordic Model because they both result in higher comparative economic productivity, higher levels of participant satisfaction, higher average income and lower economic disparity. It's not possible to argue that these models are somehow flawed in comparison to non-interventionist libertarian capitalism because the nations that hold them are statistically superior by every relevant objective and subjective measure. 

 

Does this count as a "merit-worthy" argument?

 

Link

 

 

Beyond arguments specifically against the Nordic model, many economists have went into quite extensive detail explaining economics and how central planning and economic interventionism are destructive.

 

Link 2

 

 

I have no idea how you have concluded that it's "not possible to argue" against the Nordic model (or other flavors of Keynesianism) unless you simply dismiss offhand any works that don't conform with your standpoint.


Mr. House
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#68

Posted 22 November 2013 - 06:01 PM Edited by Nale Dixon, 22 November 2013 - 06:06 PM.

 

There's no socially or economically merit-worthy argument against Ordliberalism or the Nordic Model because they both result in higher comparative economic productivity, higher levels of participant satisfaction, higher average income and lower economic disparity. It's not possible to argue that these models are somehow flawed in comparison to non-interventionist libertarian capitalism because the nations that hold them are statistically superior by every relevant objective and subjective measure. 

 

Does this count as a "merit-worthy" argument?

 

Link

 

 

Beyond arguments specifically against the Nordic model, many economists have went into quite extensive detail explaining economics and how central planning and economic interventionism are destructive.

 

Link 2

 

 

I have no idea how you have concluded that it's "not possible to argue" against the Nordic model (or other flavors of Keynesianism) unless you simply dismiss offhand any works that don't conform with your standpoint.

 

Wow, a link from an obscure Icelandic (American) Libertarian website and Murray Rothbard. No bias there!

 

'Many Economists' he says. Boy I can't wait for him to pull out the Milton Friedman quotes, then we'll know this guy means business!

 

Note to anyone who doesn't know, Murray Rothbard was and still is routinely ridiculed by any economist with a functioning brain. So no, that's not a 'merit worthy argument'. Much like everything you've said, it's meaningless rhetoric. 


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#69

Posted 22 November 2013 - 06:14 PM

 

Note to anyone who doesn't know, Murray Rothbard was and still is routinely ridiculed by any economist with a functioning brain. So no, that's not a 'merit worthy argument'. 

 

Arguments stand on their own merits, regardless of who says them, and regardless of how much more popular the other viewpoints are.

 


No bias there!

 

And you are clearly biased against Austrian economics.

 

Should I therefore dismiss everything you ever say, or should I give you a fair shake?


Mr. House
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#70

Posted 22 November 2013 - 06:22 PM

 

 

Note to anyone who doesn't know, Murray Rothbard was and still is routinely ridiculed by any economist with a functioning brain. So no, that's not a 'merit worthy argument'. 

 

Arguments stand on their own merits, regardless of who says them, and regardless of how much more popular the other viewpoints are.

 

 

Sure, but Rothbard was a man who refused to have his ideas published in economic journals for critique, which sort of takes away from the merit side of things.

 

And you are clearly biased against Austrian economics.

 

Should I therefore dismiss everything you ever say, or should I give you a fair shake?

 

Well you've already ignored my other posts referring to your beliefs in economics so it's whatever really.


Melchior
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#71

Posted 22 November 2013 - 07:42 PM

Does this count as a "merit-worthy" argument?

 

Link

The issue with this paper is that the author seems quite confused about the appeal of the Nordic model. It's about standard of living, not economic performance. The USA might have the highest GDP in the world, but it's all for naught when most of the population sees none of the benefits.


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#72

Posted 22 November 2013 - 08:20 PM Edited by sivispacem, 22 November 2013 - 11:17 PM.

Which is roughly what I was going to say. It's less of a rebuttal of the Nordic model and more an opinion piece on the relationship between GDP and libertarianism. It's also pretty light on relevant statistics like those I mentioned.
 
To extend a little bit further from this initial point, let's take the second of your sources. Disregarding the complete lack of proper peer review given the author's proclivity for avoiding critique from fellow economists, what I've garnered from a quick skim-read of both Man, Economy and State and Power and Market is that they're not really objective analyses of economic systems. They're arguments in support of a defined philosophical point of view, with the economic theory shoe-horned in around this. This brings me back to my earlier point about objective versus subjective morality. Both of these works seem to rely on the reader making the basic assumption that taxation, direction or other government influences in macro and microeconomics are fundamentally immoral. They appeal to an individual who already possesses a defined perspective on the subject rather than forming rational, logical and empirical analyses. This, I would hazard, is why Rothbard shies away from proper academic critique- he writes not from the analytical perspective of someone who assesses and compares systems on an empirical and rational basis, but from the philosophical and moral perspective of someone who holds a personal view on an issue and wishes to support that view with evidence, much of which is sadly speculative and totally devoid of actual objective merit. 
 
Rothbard is, generally speaking and being as polite as one can, a bit of an oddball, which is probably why he never got very much academic credence and was never really recognised as one of the greatest economic minds. A historical revisionist, proponent of retributive justice, supporter of torture on principle and hostile towards the civil rights movement, he really didn't seem to possess any cohesive theory on personal liberty versus state monopoly. He actively supported the use of the state monopoly on violence to deny rights to minorities in favour of maintaining the apparent property rights of landowners, but in reality the status quo in the balance of power, in favour of the white male- which suggests to me that far from being a proponent of individualist economic theory über alles that his supporters imply, he only supported this principle when it personally benefited him and his social peers. More generally speaking, Austrian School economics tends to be reflected on badly in objective or empirical discussion of economic theory because it tends to eschew such niceties as actual statistical analysis or proper empiricism in favour of snowball and slippery slope fallacies, hypothetical situations, post hoc, ergo propter hoc and style over substance fallacies applied to other theories to discredit them, when in reality the main reason that there's no real empirical backing for most of the Austrian school of economics is primarily because, like pure Communism or anarcho-capitalism, it's totally unworkable.

 

In short, he's no Thomas Schelling or Robert Aumann.


Melchior
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#73

Posted 03 December 2013 - 06:22 AM Edited by Melchior, 03 December 2013 - 06:23 AM.

 

Ron Paul was a popularist with utterly unworkable policies. He rode solely on the fact that he was different, anti-interventionist and decent public speaker. It seems to escape everyone that he's a lunatic, racist bigot- worse, of course, because he claimed that he never made the statements instead of admitting he had f*cked up.

He's also not even for gay marriage or legalising pot as people like to claim, he's for leaving it to the states. He's for devolving most issues to the states purely so the northen blue states can have all the equality and weed that they like, while in southern red states gays and women and non-Christians can be oppressed without yanky interference. 

 

I can't believe I actually used to support the guy, I was such a tool. I even went to one of his political rallies. Ever since I realized how f*cking stupid I was about that I've been terrified of political discussion because the truth is that I'm simply not that educated, the worst feeling in the world. I want to be able to discuss economics, health care and other topics without making an ass of myself.

 

Where would you recommend I start? Is it more important to know foreign policy or economics in the political arena? 

 

Spoiler

 

Yeah dude, you just have to pay attention, ask questions and approach things critically. Like read articles and academic journals and watch documentaries. I'm self educated (or "autodidactic" as I say at parties) so it's really not too difficult once you have enough knowledge and find issues that you're passionate about. The standard of debate on this forum (even in general chat) is well above any place on the internet that I've been, so you can learn a lot just paying attention to debates and asking questions.

 

I could give you specific sources of information and perspective, but I'm really far left so it'll all have a massive left-wing slant, but is objective none the less.





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