Author Topic: The post-fact political world  (Read 2708 times)

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Offline jsbru

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The post-fact political world
« on: December 04, 2016, 10:23:56 PM »
We've gone past simple policy disagreements to people mentally inhabiting different universes based on entirely made up facts.  This really is a grave problem.  It's going to cause the downfall of our nation if it's not somehow addressed very soon.

We have the First Amendment in this country that protects political speech more than anything else.  But I don't think this privilege has ever both a) been so patently abused to manipulate voters, and b) been so widely available to anyone who wishes to consume it.

As Exhibit A, I bring you...
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/12/04/comet-ping-pong-fake-news-clinton-shots/94979994/

Quote
Police in Washington, D.C., on Sunday arrested a North Carolina man after they said he walked into a popular pizza restaurant and began firing an assault rifle. The man, who sent customers and employees fleeing, told police he had come to “self-investigate” an election-related online conspiracy theory involving Hillary Clinton.

. . .

In the days before the Nov. 8 election, Comet’s owner and employees said they were threatened on social media after fake news stories claimed that Clinton and her campaign chief, John Podesta, ran a child sex ring from the restaurant’s back rooms, which attract diners with ping pong tables.

James Alefantis, Comet's owner, told The New York Times that he received menacing messages such as “we’re on to you” on his Instagram feed. The messages soon turned to death threats, The Times reported, and Alefantis soon discovered dozens of "made-up articles" about Clinton kidnapping, molesting and trafficking children in the restaurant’s back rooms.
“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.”

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Offline Prog Snob

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Re: The post-fact political world
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2016, 10:54:56 PM »
Are you saying it's completely implausible for this to be possible? There are child sex rings which exist in the world. There is child trafficking and molesting. There is child labor. We probably pass people capable of this every day of our lives. I'm not saying the Clintons are doing such a thing. I'm sure it's the typical propaganda that we've been reading from both sides during the election. However, in a world where Michael Jackson and Subway Jared turn out to be pedophiles, I can't put anything past most people. If this turned out to be true, it wouldn't completely surprise me.

Offline 7th

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Re: The post-fact political world
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2016, 03:05:26 AM »
I don't rule anything out these days.  Michelle O a tranny?  Maybe.  Alien reptile shape shifters in control of the world? Maybe.  Kanye West a human being?  Maybe.

Life is SO much better and easier when expectations are kept to a minimum.  I don't need reality to be safe or comfortable in order to enjoy life.  The only fact I need to know is that I know very little.
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Offline ?

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Re: The post-fact political world
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2016, 04:26:34 AM »
I think the main point jsbru is trying to convey by linking that article is that some people take the fake news so seriously that they're ready to grab a gun and take action. I'm sure most of us in this subforum are critical enough to take the most outrageous news with a grain of salt and see through the obvious BS, but sadly not everybody in the world is like that. It's scary as hell that some of those most prone to confirmation bias are trigger-happy as well.

Offline El Barto

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Re: The post-fact political world
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2016, 08:11:27 AM »
Are you saying it's completely implausible for this to be possible?
Yes. Its possibility is completely implausible.
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Online eric42434224

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Re: The post-fact political world
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2016, 08:14:22 AM »
Are you saying it's completely implausible for this to be possible?
Yes. Its possibility is completely implausible.

 :lol
Oh shit, you're right!

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Offline jsbru

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Re: The post-fact political world
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2016, 10:06:27 AM »
The chances of something like that being true are near zero.

People have to have a filter.  Due to technology, at no time in human civilization has anyone with no credibility and no accountability been able to spread "news" stories to so many people.

Part of the post-reality news cycle is that every news outlet tells you, "We're the ones telling the truth.  You can't trust the other side, and you definitely can't trust the mainstream media."

The thing is, what makes people think they can trust a blog.  Or a political site like Breitbart or Druge Report?  How do these outlets have any credibility themselves?

It isn't just right-wing sites.  Left-wing sites all say that you can't trust the "corporate media."

So we either have to go back to having three TV news stations where the content is filtered for sanity and accuracy, or we have to figure out how to better tell our citizens to navigate the ratings/propaganda ****show we have now.  We can't just let ratings dictate, because truth doesn't sell.  People want confirmation of their pre-existing cognitive framework.  Not the truth.
“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.”

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Offline jsbru

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Re: The post-fact political world
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2016, 10:10:14 AM »
Are you saying it's completely implausible for this to be possible?

Almost nothing is completely implausible.

That can't be the standard for actually believing stuff is true, though.  Society would break down pretty fast.  Imagine what would happen if we acted on everything that had a 0.01% chance of happening.

Clearly, there were enough people who believed this story to send the guy death threats...and then one guy took it upon himself to start firing an assault rifle in the restaurant.
“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.”

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Offline 7th

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Re: The post-fact political world
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2016, 11:45:40 AM »
It isn't just the fake news outlets.  Watching the major networks during the election was fascinating.  CNN would take an otherwise true story and bend it to make Hillary look good.  I think this was a huge factor in her loss.  People thought she had nothing to worry about because the major media outlets, even Fox, kept saying it.

We also saw fact checkers expose huge bias during the election as well.  I used to respect sites like snopes and politico until it became clear that they allow bias to influence how they rate things.  They still do an okay job, but in terms of trust, I don't trust them any more than I trust Alex Jones. 

This is where faith in higher powers becomes rational.  I am not a religious person, but when all information generated or communicated by people is subject to biased spin or simple inaccuracy, it stands to reason that we look to non-human indicators for information pertaining to life.  It can be as simple as going outside and judging the weather intuitively instead of blindly trusting what the weather channel has to say about it.
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Offline jsbru

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Re: The post-fact political world
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2016, 12:00:35 PM »
This is where faith in higher powers becomes rational.  I am not a religious person, but when all information generated or communicated by people is subject to biased spin or simple inaccuracy, it stands to reason that we look to non-human indicators for information pertaining to life.  It can be as simple as going outside and judging the weather intuitively instead of blindly trusting what the weather channel has to say about it.

...and this is where we're going to differ significantly.

Not every source is equally untruthful and subject to bias.  Predicting something as complex as the weather isn't something anyone can do with 100% accuracy.  But for the most part, meteorologists are right far more often than those just flying by the seat of their pants based on "intuition."  You can take the handful of instances where the weatherman is wrong, focus only on those, and use it to make the case that he can never be trusted.  But you'd be doing yourself a disservice.

The scientific world has more credibility than politically-charged press releases from oil-industry lobbyists.  First of all, it's the former's job to be accurate, whereas it's the latter's job to push a political and PR agenda.  Second of all, the former is kept in check by the scientific method, within which self-doubt is built in.  The latter is only bounded by said lobbyist's sense of shame, which most of us can agree is probably close to zero, if not zero.

IOW, I'd rather someone take and educated guess rather than an uneducated guess.

It seems like you're trying to say it's fine for people to just throw up their hands and say "anything goes" because nobody's perfect.  That's a recipe for the downfall of society, IMO.
“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.”

― Hunter S. Thompson

Offline 7th

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Re: The post-fact political world
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2016, 01:05:51 PM »

...and this is where we're going to differ significantly.

It seems like you're trying to say it's fine for people to just throw up their hands and say "anything goes" because nobody's perfect.  That's a recipe for the downfall of society, IMO.

But think about the reality of this world and time we live in: anything does go and nobody is perfect.  That has been the case since humanity strapped on loin cloths and decided to deny their own nature.  The downfall of society is inevitable because history shows us that every civilization outgrows itself and eventually crumbles under the weight of itself. 

It generally begins with the pied piper effect where the masses follow their own arrogance down the destructive path all the while believing they are righteous in their endeavors.  So fuck it, since anything goes and nobody is perfect and we are all fucked anyway, why not simply make the best of every moment we have and cherish each other as gifts to one another's experiences?  Well, that would just be too easy wouldn't it? :-) 
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Offline jsbru

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Re: The post-fact political world
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2016, 01:13:42 PM »
But think about the reality of this world and time we live in: anything does go and nobody is perfect.  That has been the case since humanity strapped on loin cloths and decided to deny their own nature.  The downfall of society is inevitable because history shows us that every civilization outgrows itself and eventually crumbles under the weight of itself.

This nation's resilience for the last 230-ish years is a good counter-example.  Anything did not go.  Our form of government was carefully thought out and well-debated by dozens of intuitive, intelligent people.  These people had tons of expert experience in government and political philosophy.  They weren't simply loud, vacuous pundits that lived in a fact-free world.  Bad ideas were thrown out.  We've made a lot of progress since then in spreading this government model to the rest of the world, and for the most part, it has created increased stability.

Quote
It generally begins with the pied piper effect where the masses follow their own arrogance down the destructive path all the while believing they are righteous in their endeavors.  So fuck it, since anything goes and nobody is perfect and we are all fucked anyway,

Sounds like you're describing the Trump election perfectly.  :D

Seriously, though...if your political position is: "Apocalypse, Wow!" we won't agree on much.
“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.”

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Offline 7th

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Re: The post-fact political world
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2016, 01:57:33 PM »
But think about the reality of this world and time we live in: anything does go and nobody is perfect.  That has been the case since humanity strapped on loin cloths and decided to deny their own nature.  The downfall of society is inevitable because history shows us that every civilization outgrows itself and eventually crumbles under the weight of itself.

This nation's resilience for the last 230-ish years is a good counter-example.  Anything did not go.  Our form of government was carefully thought out and well-debated by dozens of intuitive, intelligent people.  These people had tons of expert experience in government and political philosophy.  They weren't simply loud, vacuous pundits that lived in a fact-free world.  Bad ideas were thrown out.  We've made a lot of progress since then in spreading this government model to the rest of the world, and for the most part, it has created increased stability.

Quote
It generally begins with the pied piper effect where the masses follow their own arrogance down the destructive path all the while believing they are righteous in their endeavors.  So fuck it, since anything goes and nobody is perfect and we are all fucked anyway,

Sounds like you're describing the Trump election perfectly.  :D

Seriously, though...if your political position is: "Apocalypse, Wow!" we won't agree on much.

No, that isn't my political position, but I do believe that deconstruction is often necessary to fix things that are broken and dysfunctional.  I also agree about the USA's social progress and influence on the world, but I am somewhat confused, I thought that dems felt the USA has no business trying to tell other nations how to be?  That American exceptionalism is a bad thing, not a good thing.  Aren't you essentially arguing that it is indeed a good thing?
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Offline jsbru

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Re: The post-fact political world
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2016, 03:11:56 PM »
I don't have any problem with the US leading by example.  I think market-based democracies have some flaws that can get pretty serious at times, but I also believe it's the least imperfect model.  To that extent, I don't mind the US promoting trade.  I don't think the alternative of us being ruled by Trump's buddy Vladimir Putin or the Chinese Communist Party are better, that's for sure.

I don't think the US has the right to bomb other countries into compliance, though, and even if they do, it doesn't work very well.

One of the biggest problems with market economies is that wealth tends to reproduce itself and further concentrate itself without some sort of outside redistributive force.  Soon, you get a very highly-divided society with a few haves and many have-nots.  It doesn't take a genius to see how this works.  Having a lot of money to begin with makes it a lot easier to make more.  You go to the best private schools, you make a lot of connections regardless of your actual talent, you can pay better lawyers to get you out of problems, you have more stability in starting your own business because you can out-last your competitors, etc.  And eventually, you can pay lawmakers to make laws that favor you, and only you.  You earn interest instead of paying it.

It's funny that you complain about interest rates, because that's what massive wealth inequality causes.  Rich people have something that everybody needs and nobody has (money).  So they get to charge people higher rates for borrowing it.

The solution to your problem isn't Trump.  It's progressive taxation.
“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.”

― Hunter S. Thompson

Offline Prog Snob

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Re: The post-fact political world
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2016, 08:21:46 PM »
Are you saying it's completely implausible for this to be possible?
Yes. Its possibility is completely implausible.

Clever.  ;)  I don't rule anything out anymore, but the idea of it being possible is slim to none.

Offline jsbru

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Re: The post-fact political world
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2016, 09:29:58 PM »
A member of the alternate reality crew has been sitting in on Trump's national security briefings.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/edgar-maddison-welch-charges-filed-against-suspected-pizzagate-comet-ping-pong-gunman/

Quote
One of those people posting on the conspiracy theory is the son of President-elect Donald Trump’s proposed national security adviser.

Even Monday, Michael Flynn Jr., who has posted frequently on the Pizzagate theories, continued to push the conspiracy theory. He’s an adviser to his father, Michael Flynn, whom Mr. Trump has selected to serve as national security adviser.

Flynn Jr., who has accompanied his father to presidential transition meetings inside Trump Tower and lists the presidential transition website as part of his Twitter bio, tweeted Sunday night that, “Until #Pizzagate proven to be false, it’ll remain a story.”

That's comforting.  Glad the people who are supposed to be defending us from terrorism are also spending a ton of time on taking down Hillary Clinton's imaginary child sex ring.
“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.”

― Hunter S. Thompson

Offline 7th

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Re: The post-fact political world
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2016, 10:33:23 PM »
That's comforting.  Glad the people who are supposed to be defending us from terrorism are also spending a ton of time on taking down Hillary Clinton's imaginary child sex ring.

Pedophilia is a very serious problem.  If there is evidence to investigate, shouldn't it be investigated?  I can remember a time when a much respected Anthony Weiner was the poster boy for snide democrats everywhere who would have considered it absolutely absurd to think he was a perverted creep. 
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Offline jsbru

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Re: The post-fact political world
« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2016, 11:21:36 PM »
If there is evidence to investigate,

There isn't.
“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.”

― Hunter S. Thompson

Offline 7th

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Re: The post-fact political world
« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2016, 02:03:47 AM »
If there is evidence to investigate,

There isn't.

I do hope that is true.  Interesting that some of these fake news people are hard core leftists posing as neocons.  Things are really f-ed up in terms of figuring out where information is really coming from.  I am sure there are righties our there posing as lefties too.  It's looking almost like pre-civil-war propaganda at this point, except more sick considering the accusations and the players (think Anthony Wiener, Spirit Cooking, Orgy Island, Donald J. Trump, etc...).  I do hope people just settle the fuck down. :-(   
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Offline Prog Snob

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Re: The post-fact political world
« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2016, 02:15:03 AM »
Hey, if Alex Jones hasn't tried to convince people there's a child sex ring, then there definitely ISN'T one. :lol

Offline Chino

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Re: The post-fact political world
« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2016, 06:03:20 AM »
Hey, if Alex Jones hasn't tried to convince people there's a child sex ring, then there definitely ISN'T one. :lol

I've never heard him tie one directly to a politician, but he's been waging war against the Elite's (bankers, CEOs, etc..) child sex rings for years. He's also a big believer in the TSA being created for the purpose of feeling up little children, not finding dangerous objects. By having the legal authority to grope children under the veil of safety, you train the children to be complacent and just accept whatever authority does in the name of your safety. It's crucial for when martial law gets put into effect.

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Re: The post-fact political world
« Reply #21 on: December 06, 2016, 07:59:54 AM »

Offline jsbru

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Re: The post-fact political world
« Reply #22 on: December 06, 2016, 09:06:39 AM »
I'm glad Alex Jones has shown up here to ensure this thread stays on topic.  :laugh:

We could also move the "economy is horrible" discussion here because people are complaining that the election thread is veering off topic.  Almost every metric suggests the economy has improved over the last 8 years.  And most experts agree that almost all of the "people out of the workforce" are signs of more economic privilege, not less: going to school longer, retiring earlier.

The economy is definitely not great in some places, somewhat specifically in the Midwest.  But overall, it would be hard to argue that it's so terrible.

I think it's mostly a result of 24/7 media, allowing poor people to hear about the rich more (making them feel relatively despondent), and rich people hearing about poor people more (making them feel more self-conscious).

Even 30 years ago, you got your news from relatively tame and uncontroversial newspaper coverage and by chatting with your neighbors down the street who were largely in the same position you were.
“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.”

― Hunter S. Thompson

Offline Stadler

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Re: The post-fact political world
« Reply #23 on: December 06, 2016, 10:49:24 AM »
I don't have any problem with the US leading by example.  I think market-based democracies have some flaws that can get pretty serious at times, but I also believe it's the least imperfect model.  To that extent, I don't mind the US promoting trade.  I don't think the alternative of us being ruled by Trump's buddy Vladimir Putin or the Chinese Communist Party are better, that's for sure.

I don't think the US has the right to bomb other countries into compliance, though, and even if they do, it doesn't work very well.

One of the biggest problems with market economies is that wealth tends to reproduce itself and further concentrate itself without some sort of outside redistributive force.  Soon, you get a very highly-divided society with a few haves and many have-nots.  It doesn't take a genius to see how this works.  Having a lot of money to begin with makes it a lot easier to make more.  You go to the best private schools, you make a lot of connections regardless of your actual talent, you can pay better lawyers to get you out of problems, you have more stability in starting your own business because you can out-last your competitors, etc.  And eventually, you can pay lawmakers to make laws that favor you, and only you.  You earn interest instead of paying it.

It's funny that you complain about interest rates, because that's what massive wealth inequality causes.  Rich people have something that everybody needs and nobody has (money).  So they get to charge people higher rates for borrowing it.

The solution to your problem isn't Trump.  It's progressive taxation.

No, it's understanding that it's not a problem to begin with.   "Progressive taxation" (which we already have, mightily) is just wealth redistribution, which isn't about "opportunity", it's about "outcomes".  The second you start guaranteeing people outcomes, you've just swapped out a small issue for a real problem.    That's probably the single biggest reason why I don't vote Democrat more often. 

What we have to do is really and truly make sure the OPPORTUNITIES are the same.   NOT THE OUTCOMES, and the "sameness" of the opportunity isn't measured by the outcomes. 

My kid goes to a private school that is probably beyond my means; I won't have the retirement I could have had as a result.  Is there a guarantee she'll be one of the "1%" to take care of me?  What?  Are you kidding me?   But it's the way the system works, and I'm willing to make that sacrifice to help her out.  I don't need MORE "progressive taxes" to stymie that effort, or "wealth redistribution" to foot the bill for someone who isn't willing to make that sacrifice.

I think the thing that is so irksome to me, is that it's no mystery. It's not as if it's a Rubik's Cube that people have to figure out.   We all know how it works, we all know that money is the most predictable thing in the world, and yet...   Look at the "booming economy" thread; if the economy is soooo booming, if there are soooo many jobs, where are the people ready and willing to make the sacrifice of going to those jobs? 

Offline jsbru

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Re: The post-fact political world
« Reply #24 on: December 06, 2016, 12:06:28 PM »
"Progressive taxation" (which we already have, mightily) is just wealth redistribution, which isn't about "opportunity", it's about "outcomes". 

Only in theory.  Once you factor in a) the lower tax rate on capital gains, b) loopholes and deductions in our tax code, c) hiding income both legally and illegally offshore, and d) hiding income through domestic shell corporations, etc., the rich actually pay a lower effective tax rate than the upper-middle-class.

Other than that, it's not just wealth distribution.  It's a way to create a civilized society.  FDR wasn't some rogue union coal miner that worked his way to the top.  He was a member of the aristocracy--an aristocracy that very well realized that this country would cease to remain functional with such massive divisions of wealth.

IOW, FDR was the aristocracy recognizing that they had to implement some basic level of socialism for their own good.  The unchecked market is just too predatory.

IMO, conservatives and libertarians tend to view taxes as some form of punishment for those that are successful.  But really, progressive taxation was implemented for basic societal management purposes.
“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.”

― Hunter S. Thompson

Offline 7th

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Re: The post-fact political world
« Reply #25 on: December 06, 2016, 12:20:53 PM »
What we have to do is really and truly make sure the OPPORTUNITIES are the same.   NOT THE OUTCOMES, and the "sameness" of the opportunity isn't measured by the outcomes. 

While I agree this should be the case, the reality is we are all presented with different opportunities leading to different outcomes.  I think it is more a factor of attitude and ability which are not guaranteed to everyone on an equal level.  To me social equality means we are treated equally as people, not that we are equal in all factors of life because we simply are not.   

       
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Offline 7th

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Re: The post-fact political world
« Reply #26 on: December 06, 2016, 12:47:54 PM »

Only in theory.  Once you factor in a) the lower tax rate on capital gains, b) loopholes and deductions in our tax code, c) hiding income both legally and illegally offshore, and d) hiding income through domestic shell corporations, etc., the rich actually pay a lower effective tax rate than the upper-middle-class.


Having been both dirt poor and relatively successful I can tell you that taxes suck ass on both ends of the economic spectrum.  I would not have this attitude if our government was efficient and made good use of our contributions.  I am not a miser, I would gladly pay more taxes if the money was spent wisely or even just sanely.  The idea of redistribution doesn't appeal to me at all because having been dirt poor if someone had been there with handouts I may still be dirt poor.  That is the gut punch that people have a hard time accepting.  True success does not come by help and handouts from the strong to the weak, success is taken by the strong from the weak.  This is a very natural thing.  Just watch any pack animal behavior related to dividing up the kill.  The strong get first dibs while the weak fight over the scraps.  No amount of redistribution will ever change this cold reality of nature.  All it will does is weaken the strong and removes some of the fight that helps the weak become the strong.   
"Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners" - George Carlin

Offline jsbru

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Re: The post-fact political world
« Reply #27 on: December 06, 2016, 08:34:20 PM »
Yeah, well, if it weren't for Medicaid, I might be dead right now.

I think there's some things that we should guarantee to all people.  Not necessarily income, but there's certainly enough wealth in this country to provide some semblance of healthcare, housing, and food.
“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.”

― Hunter S. Thompson

Offline Adami

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Re: The post-fact political world
« Reply #28 on: December 06, 2016, 08:35:43 PM »
I feel like there needs to be a single "Economics etc." thread cause I feel like multiple threads are having the same convo right now, by the same people.
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Offline jsbru

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Re: The post-fact political world
« Reply #29 on: December 06, 2016, 08:40:21 PM »
I feel like there needs to be a single "Economics etc." thread cause I feel like multiple threads are having the same convo right now, by the same people.

That's probably a good idea.  I just started a new one, though, so...  :D
“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.”

― Hunter S. Thompson

Offline jsbru

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Re: The post-fact political world
« Reply #30 on: December 06, 2016, 08:41:46 PM »
More on topic, the fake news son has just been told "you're fired"

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/06/us/politics/michael-flynn-son-trump.html?_r=0
“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.”

― Hunter S. Thompson

Offline 7th

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Re: The post-fact political world
« Reply #31 on: December 06, 2016, 11:19:22 PM »
Yeah, well, if it weren't for Medicaid, I might be dead right now.

I think there's some things that we should guarantee to all people.  Not necessarily income, but there's certainly enough wealth in this country to provide some semblance of healthcare, housing, and food.

I agree with this.  We squander our wealth foolishly as a nation.  BTW, I almost died a few years back myself from acute appendicitis.  Had to pay a large deductible on insurance that had high premiums as well.  While I am glad your life was saved, I fail to see how it is socially "equal" that I have to pay to live and for others to live, but some others don't.  It's clearly discriminatory against certain economic classes but I am not advocating taking away other's care because they may not happen to have the dough to afford it (few can actually afford regular healthcare or surgeries out of pocket), I am advocating that it be available to everyone all the time.  Stadler will probably poopoo that ideal, but I do believe it is possible to provide quality national healthcare as a public service.  I think what we do now in terms of housing and food must be working.  I don't see many hungry or homeless people around the nation, well except in the most liberal controlled cities in the nation which some now have full-blown tent cities and whatnot - which I hold as living proof that liberal policies are generally flawed in practice despite how good they may sound.  But, despite having different ideas about how to get there, we do share the same goals.  I would love nothing more than see humanity form social structures where day-to-day survival is low on the concern scale while self enrichment is high on the concern scale.  Yeah, I watched too much start trek in my younger years I guess. :-) 
"Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners" - George Carlin

Offline jsbru

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Re: The post-fact political world
« Reply #32 on: December 07, 2016, 09:23:34 AM »
A lot of homeless people live in cities because they move there, not because they grew up there.  Cities have a lot more support for homeless people than rural areas.

I live in St. Louis, and a lot of rural and outlying areas will simply bus their homeless people here because they don't have the resources to deal with them, or the shelters.

Then they complain on the comments section of every news article about how bad the city is, and that they get harassed by homeless people every time they visit, that they're never going back because they're scared about violence, etc.
“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.”

― Hunter S. Thompson

Offline 7th

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Re: The post-fact political world
« Reply #33 on: December 07, 2016, 12:26:17 PM »
A lot of homeless people live in cities because they move there, not because they grew up there.  Cities have a lot more support for homeless people than rural areas.

I live in St. Louis, and a lot of rural and outlying areas will simply bus their homeless people here because they don't have the resources to deal with them, or the shelters.

Then they complain on the comments section of every news article about how bad the city is, and that they get harassed by homeless people every time they visit, that they're never going back because they're scared about violence, etc.

I was recently in St. Louis.  My take was that it is in a third world state.  Huge wealth in small areas, other areas are essentially slums, skids, and straight up old-school ghettos.  It does indeed paint a living picture of the imbalanced distribution of wealth.  I just argue that it is progressivism that leads to such a picture.  People coming in from the rural areas, which sounds rather preposterous, are the very least of the city's problems.
"Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners" - George Carlin

Offline Stadler

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Re: The post-fact political world
« Reply #34 on: December 07, 2016, 02:43:44 PM »
"Progressive taxation" (which we already have, mightily) is just wealth redistribution, which isn't about "opportunity", it's about "outcomes". 

Only in theory.  Once you factor in a) the lower tax rate on capital gains, b) loopholes and deductions in our tax code, c) hiding income both legally and illegally offshore, and d) hiding income through domestic shell corporations, etc., the rich actually pay a lower effective tax rate than the upper-middle-class.

Off shore income; it's not HIDING when it's EARNED there.  Hillary didn't tell you that when she was railing against that aspect of the evil corporate America.  GE earns about 60% of it's revenue outside the United States, not at all using ANY U.S. resources to do so.  Why should they pay double taxes on that if it's NOT "wealth redistribution"?


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Other than that, it's not just wealth distribution.  It's a way to create a civilized society.  FDR wasn't some rogue union coal miner that worked his way to the top.  He was a member of the aristocracy--an aristocracy that very well realized that this country would cease to remain functional with such massive divisions of wealth.

IOW, FDR was the aristocracy recognizing that they had to implement some basic level of socialism for their own good.  The unchecked market is just too predatory.

Or he was a political animal that knew that many of his international policies needed the support of those in the home land.  Haha, no I don't actually believe that, but I also know he's not the "crusading warrior for the Common Man" that he has been painted as in a weak Democrat effort to fabricate their own "Saint Reagan".  We are STILL paying - literally - for his tariffs allegedly intended to "help" the American farmer.   As a result the world stopped buying our crops, and we're subsidizing the agriculture industry RIGHT NOW to an insidious degree (and we STILL need Farm Aid every year!).  Thanks, Frank!

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IMO, conservatives and libertarians tend to view taxes as some form of punishment for those that are successful.  But really, progressive taxation was implemented for basic societal management purposes.

No, not exactly.  I understand the necessity of taxes and I don't object to them in principle.  Where it gets to be ridiculous is this notion that taxes are the way to fix all our problems.  I don't even disagree with a reasonably progressive tax scheme, but the IMPACT of the taxes have to be universal.  TAKE TAKE TAKE more from the 1%, but are our roads getting improved?  NOPE.   Airports?  Nope.   It's going to funding programs that don't equally impact the population, but rather are progressive in themselves (I don't at all pay the same as someone in the lowest tax brackets even when you account for the subsidies).