Author Topic: DANGER! - Political Thread  (Read 19620 times)

Sticky Icky Green Stuff

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Re: DANGER! - Political Thread
« Reply #40 on: Sep 09, 2012, 11:31 PM »
chode chode chode.  the thing is I agree with you 98percent on everything you've said.

I agree voting straight democrat really doesn't do much to help the country. 

president this term for 2012 is Obama/Biden vs Romney/Ryan  that's what it is, you can vote for Ron Paul or Gary Johnson but that vote could be used to help push the obvious top shelf candidate.  all things aside it's whether or not you want romney as your president.  that's what your votes for THIS election, not every election just this one.  If you don't want Obama, any vote for anyone else helps romney.  it's not illogical, or saying your vote doesn't matter it's just what's up with that current race.

the entire reason ron paul was elected is because of local, grass root voting.  same with a bernie sanders.  but not rand paul, he sold out to the republicans like a lot of the tea party. that should be acknowledged.  over and over again.

the union shit is specifically directed at teachers currently.  more specifically the purpose being the privatization of school.  the transition into making them "private" charter schools.  it's happening in detroit with varying results.  the thing about privatization is once you have a private school you don't have to follow any government regulation relating to education.  there should be a balance.  they want to destroy tenure, they want to destroy pensions that have been paid into for years, decades.  it's a simple idea, privatize, hire less skilled workers, get rid of good teachers that cost more for less good teachers and then when the less good teachers fuck up fire them and re-hire new, shitty teachers.  totally makes sense.  and is soo worth it.  sike.  fuck that. shit.

it's not fraud that's the problem it's voter suppression.  gerrymandering goes on on both sides for sure.  here in michigan the republican just gerrymandered the fuck out of shit and fucked the butt on a lot of shit. the "S" district" or "Super District" they created is a great example of bullshit.  it's happened, it's a conservative attempt to rig the vote this time in their advantage, if the dems did it I'd be just as pissed but they didn't do it this time.

michael moore's opinion was a guess, nothing more nothing less.  just like your opinion.  it's all the same.

exist10z

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Re: DANGER! - Political Thread
« Reply #41 on: Sep 09, 2012, 11:33 PM »
I try not to rebut any one person as to avoid misconstrued forms of  tu quoque type arguments, and that's not an allegation against anyone who has directly replied to me. And my wall of text was written dehydrated and somewhat buzzed. But whatever lubes up the gears.

However, I must speak on a few points that have ALWAYS bugged me:

- a vote for a third party is a vote taken from/given to x:
it's never a vote against anyone; it's never a penalty. a vote is a vote and if it does something, great. If it gets marginalized or zero-summed because of the larger politics, well, it didn't matter much anyway, did it? Better to express my conscience than vote on fear; it's better to vote proactively than reactively. it is binary thought that gets us into these systems of robopolitics. Besides, it is the tea party that takes votes away from Romney, if anything at all. and if your margins between candidates are so thin that you're afraid the slightest sneeze will blow over your house of cards, then your battle is already lost; you're ruining it for yourself.

- ballooning populations:
my point was that there's always been a balloon, which is why i fault them - they've had the power to make choices for this long, and they've used that power for evil, not good.

- dismantling of unions: you'll notice the rhetoric here is generalized for a reason - most union-bashing is against bloated public sector unions. Private sector unions are generally left alone. Not always - but here in NJ, the "working class" that make up the "middle class" are typically blue collar union types - the same people (and, by proxy, unions) being milked dry by many public sector unions that are mismanaged and riding out legacy costs. In other words, the war on unions is often led by unions. That's not to say our teachers haven't taken collateral damage as a result, but it's something that needs to be nuanced (and the debate isn't). Though a Wisconsin law prohibiting all collective bargaining is a different beast altogether. But as I said, nuance.

- voter fraud/discrimination: please look up gerrymandering in any blue/red stronghold. it's the oldest form of voter disenfranchisement and it's on both sides. Here in NJ, the running joke is that Democrats in Hudson county will vote early, vote often, and vote early and often twice. Of course, a NJ Democrat is the epitome of corruption and the reason why everyone thinks of NJ as corrupt. Same thing when we have armed thugs around certain precincts making their presence known. It doesn't have to happen through legislative acts (I also just had a training on election crime in anticipation of the coming elections, but keep in mind, NJ is generally a Blue State, so of course our corruption is skewed blue).

- immigration & unions: keep in mind the war on drugs has been perpetrated just as much by democrats; the war on immigrants took a major blow in the late 80s due to democrats fear of pissing off the unions due to an influx of cheap, legal labor. It's just as bad on both sides, and only because we keep voting out of fear and blaming anyone who doesn't play by these rules as "apathetic" or having "tantrums". Both sides suck for civil rights. It was the democrats who passed DOMA. They like to preach equality but rarely deliver. If anything, it has been the voters who deliver equality, not the politicians. While the DREAM act was a good step in a great direction, it's still not that much for the big picture. While the GOP does still fear sharia law for some reason, pretending they're the only ones does nothing but hurt the cause on both sides.

And, as a general concept, voting isn't a boomer "game" or "their scheme"; it has been their tool against the rest, to vote themselves a piggy bank. Look at the names of the people you all cite as agents as corruption and destruction - what generation do they claim to represent? what generation are they (generally) on the tail end of?

The tactics of the republicans have always been fear tactics. Fear of terror, fear of a black president, fear of a welfare society. And what do you all do? Play right into that while claiming it's better than letting the other guy win. Voting by fear. And that has been my point, and (for reasons may be blamed on the reader or the writer), I have never advocated against participation. My angle here is to participate and encourage participation. But if you only have one vote, why waste it on a compromised candidate? Why waste it on a platform you largely disagree with but disagree with less than the other side? If you are going to participate, why do so half-assed? Make it count.

Change will never come if we consistently compromise.

And for what it's worth, Michael Moore is a know-nothing twat and I think Obama will do just fine in November, absent some national tragedy he fucks up. In fact, I'd wager the only real effect of money is to buy the votes of minds paralyzed by fear and willing to believe the talking points of one side over the other. What I put forward here and before is a plea to move beyond that. Avoid the DailyKos as much as Fox News and of course never read the Huffington Post.

You're a sharp cat.  I am not sure you represented your position, or yourself, well with your first post (and you say as much here), but there is a lot of substance in this particular entry and I want to digest it before responding.

I am fairly certain that I am still going to disagree with much of it conceptually and philosophically (if not substantively), but I want to give it some thought before replying off the cuff.

Good stuff though...
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exist10z

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Re: DANGER! - Political Thread
« Reply #42 on: Sep 10, 2012, 07:04 PM »
Alright, so I spent the last twelve hours considering some of the points raised on this thread (not really), and think I am ready to respond.  Although again, it appears Sticky beat me to the punch to some extent, I do have a few thoughts that might illuminate my position.

While I am not going to attempt a line by line rebuttle of el_chode, as some things are beyond the scope of my knowledge and much of it I actually agree with, there are areas where I think the logic is faulty.  I want to preface this by saying that I appreciate anyone who has a passion for productive change.  I also appreciate that there are people with differing points of view and that what I think and believe may actually be incorrect.  I was actually a fiscally conservative Republican when I was younger (never socially conservative) and have radically changed my position on many issues during the last ten years (a reversal of the conventional wisdom - young = liberal, older = conservative).  Because of this, I realize that not only might my positions change, but that I will subsequently recognize my previous positions as incorrect or indefensible.  Paraphrasing Muhammed Ali, If my positions are the same at 50 as they were at 20, I've wasted 30 years. So...

Again with the voting.  Do I support and endorse everything the Democrats do?  No, not at all, but I don't consider it compromising my principles to vote for them.  Frankly, as I said, I'd vote Socialist if I thought they had a chance to win, but even if they did, and I did, I am fairly certain I still wouldn't be in complete agreement with their platform.  I am not sure anyone thinks exactly like me.  I don't think voting democratic is a 'vote on fear', it's a vote on logic.  I understand that at this point, with regard to presidential politics, we only have two choices, and one choice is much more in line with my thinking than the other.  Simple really, no fear involved.  It's not a compromise or a 'reactive' vote, it's a vote for the person I think will do what is more closely aligned with my positions.  To vote for a third party, even if there were a third party more closely aligned with my positions, would still be a wasted vote, because they can't win.

As I think Sticky pointed out, and what the Tea Party clearly illustrates, is that what you would call 'proactive' votes, can be effective when applied to lower level races.  You can count on the Tea Party voting for Romney, not because they love him, but because they hate him less than they hate Obama.  On the other hand, when it comes to local elections, or congressional or senatorial races, they use their votes to elect true believers.  In this way they exert more influence than their numbers would suggest they could.

There are plenty of Baby Boomers and older Americans in general, that likely support the same issues as you.  As people age, they generally become more conservative - death, safety and security, etc., but don't forget, these were the same people who were the hippies in the sixties.  What percentage still hold progressive values?  I have no idea, but I think it is short sighted to paint them all with the same brush.  You dismissed the idea earlier that it was the 1% vs. the 99%, but I think that idea is more accurate than you realize.  I am guessing one of your chief complaints, is that you will be required to fund Social Security and Medicare, which is legitimate.  However, with regard to the real division being between the 'haves' and the 'have nots', part of that issue is related to income caps on contributions.  Those who get the greatest benefit, the highest SS for instance, are likely to have the best health care, be healthier in general, and live the longest, and subsequently end up taking much more out of Social Security than they ever contributed (because they only had to contribute up to a certain level of income).

I don't live in Jersey, so I can't really speak about gerryandering or 'voter fraud' in the state, but something you said did jump out at me.  You said that the joke about Democrats is - vote early, vote often and vote early and often twice.  As all evidence I have seen indicates that the incidence of voter fraud is low enough as to be almost statistically non-existent, I am going to venture a guess that this is a Republican joke.  And to take it a step further, it's exactly the sort of joke, or maybe propaganda is a better word, that's spread on Fox daily.  Of course gerrymandering exists, and both parties participate, but to dismiss the current Republican voter suppression efforts with these arguments is disingenuous.

I have more, but I have to go watch football.  I am a good Merican...
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Sticky Icky Green Stuff

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Re: DANGER! - Political Thread
« Reply #43 on: Sep 11, 2012, 04:46 PM »
we've all got our views of things exist.  sorry if I interrupted your potential smackdown of the chode.  chode thinks he's a bad ass because he's a lawyer so I would have enjoyed a feverishness argument.   :beer:

el_chode

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Re: DANGER! - Political Thread
« Reply #44 on: Sep 11, 2012, 06:34 PM »
I, too, have moved from a very conservative view point as a teenager (which i equate with teenage chest puffing) to a strange position, one that I describe as a monitored capitalist. The best way i can describe is that capitalism only works when there is meaningful competition. Wal*Mart, to me, is anti-capitalist. Too Big To Fail is anti-capitalist. It means regulation is required for capitalism to exist - there is a place between socialism and teaparty capitalism, and it requires regulated markets.

My conservative years were marked as believing it made my dick bigger and impressed the ladies to be all like "FUCK YEA DEATH PENALTY IS AWESSSOMMEEEE LET THEM ALL FRY". Then I went to college and read those book things and everything changed. Then I became a lawyer on the off chance Sticky ever needed one on permanent retainer or to argue on the Internet. My student loans are now justified!

And as far as boomers & medicare/social security go, i resent them for smoking all the weed then making it illegal. OK not really, but i do resent them for one specific element - I believe they have voted themselves the lowest tax rates over the past 30 years in American history, then vote to preserve their entitlements while making it impossible for my generation to ever really get a step on the ladder of success. They vote in low taxes, then rant and rave about how taxes are too high on them still and how they don't need them, so no one needs a functioning government. I resent the ones like the guy here in NJ who just made outdoor smoking illegal because he's got emphysema and likes to go outside (emphysema from being a 2 pack/day smoker his whole life). I don't care if it's more pleasant now - what a douche!

It's the same thing that Gen_X felt 15-20 years ago, at the hands of the same people. And it's not that I don't want to pay in to medicare and social security - it's that I'd like politicians to stop borrowing out of MY pension (especially since I don't make enough to save a lot) in order to pay for the ridiculously high pension to these people while at the same time double-fucking me by not developing a rational way to pay for medicare and social security. That's not right, plain and simple.

Meanwhile, my private health care keeps going up because all we do is worry about whether people are insured and not whether the insurance is actual functional, so any potential pay raise that anyone gets is immediately consumed by some paper pusher at AETNA, who then denies a claim for not being within the conventional price range for such claims.

As far as the war on teachers - while I hate to come down on the side of anti-education, if I hear one more teacher here bitch and moan about how they don't get paid enough (they get paid more than me) and how they get an automatic pay increase for getting a superfluous masters degree in absolutely nothing, I'm gonna scream. In NJ, the rhetoric got twisted though - the teachers got some flak, true, but the superintendents are the battlefield. Six figure salaries on the public dime? Gimme a break. Especially since most have less classroom time than actual teachers.

The NJ Democrat joke about vote fraud is not a republican joke. It's more of a collective sigh here in NJ because we're so used to corruption. Our state capitol mayor just got arrested for corruption. We had the 34 politicians in a sting 4 years ago. We have a famous political family from down south who runs the NJ version of the Koch brothers in NJ. It's just the thing in NJ really. Our Republican leader is more famous for being fat than a real ignoramus like the rest of them. Hell, he even had a Ramadan dinner at the state house. I guess my point on that is that even Democrats joke about Democrats here.

Anyway, I'm not dismissing these voter ID things. I'm dismissing the binary thought system so many people have that their preferred political brand is innocent of the allegations they put forth against the other side.
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el_chode

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Re: DANGER! - Political Thread
« Reply #45 on: Sep 11, 2012, 09:30 PM »
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exist10z

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Re: DANGER! - Political Thread
« Reply #46 on: Sep 12, 2012, 04:10 PM »
So el_chode, you're a Keynesian?  I wouldn't have any real disagreement with you if that's the case.  I like to say I am a Socialist, for the same reason I like to say I'm an atheist, it cuts out the bullshit - makes a firm demarcation.  In reality, I suppose I am a democratic socialist, Scandinavian style, and not opposed to private ownership or some semblance of a free market.

My 'socialist' ideals are very utopian, and I recognize not particularly practical given the current global economic/political climate (not to mention the complete demonization of the entire concept here in the U.S.).  However, some redistribution is not only in order, but required at this point, if any sort of Capitalism is to thrive again. 

If a tiny minority of the world population control almost all the wealth (more true in most/some countries than others), I have become convinced that Capitalism as we have known it is doomed.  What I don't understand, is why those most fervently capitalist haven't come to the same conclusion.

The very wealthy can (and do) only consume so much stuff; they only need so much food, so much fuel, so many clothes, so many consumer goods, etc.  At some point the remaining 80-95-99% (pick a number you like) have to be able to continue to purchase things, otherwise the producers (Capitalist) will need to produce less and less, and will need less and less employees to produce less goods and services, and because of the expanded labor force - will be able to pay the employees they do need less and less.  Clearly this is already happening, and is basically a death spiral for Capitalism.  But maybe I'm wrong...

This obviously ties into two of the issues you brought up, taxes and the public sector.  First, on taxes, unless I misunderstood you, I think you are on point.  It's almost comical that we have people bitching about taxes at this point, and a political party (Republicans) that have basically signed on to not raise taxes under any circumstances.  Taxes are historically low, and have been for thirty years.  You pointed this out, 'blaming' the Baby Boomers for voting themselves the lower taxes.  Your point here is mostly correct, given that with age, income generally increases.  However, I would argue that it is really only a small percentage of Boomers who actually benefit from the lowering of marginal tax rates and investment income, but that the majority has simply been propogandized into believing lower taxes benefit them.  I was a financial advisor for 12 years, and our big sell with clients was to help them 'avoid taxes', but honestly, not working with multi-millionaires (but most of them were Boomers with over 100k) there really isn't much you can do.  They can't take advantage of any of the 'breaks' on a large scale, like say.... uh, a Mitt Romney.

I am a big advocate of the public sector, without caveat.  Here's my reasoning, which maybe someone can poke holes in, but I've yet to encounter them (the someone or the holes).  The government is a non-profit, period.  It doesn't 'save' money, obviously, just look at the debt.  Is it inefficient? Yes. Are people 'over-paid'? Yes. Do people skate by, underperform, and generally game the system?  Absolutely.  I say, who cares.  Unlike the wealthy, who benefit by paying less taxes and then save the tax savings, government employees USE the money.  They buy things.  It's a rare public sector employee who makes over 250k annually, and they aren't just banking the money in Switzerland or the Bahamas.  They use it to live, they buy cars and food, rent hotels, buy clothes, and generally do things that require other people (private sector people) to have jobs.  This promotes the system, the Capitalist system.  And we need tax dollars to pay them, this is what's lost in the conversation.  The same reasoning also applies to those receiving government assistance, but to an even greater extent, they REALLY are using every last dollar they get, and those dollars provide jobs for workers.

So, what about the idea that lower taxes encourages 'investment' and helps the job-creators?  Bullshit.  I have owned 3 businesses that employed people, I never hired more people because taxes were lower (or stopped if they were higher).  Hiring decisions are made based on need, if you have more customers, need more product, you hire, period.  You would think this would be self evident, just ask anyone who owns a business, but of course it's drowned out by the propoganda.  You hire people when you need more employees, you need more employees only when you have more business, you have more business only when you have customers to pay.  Public sector employees buy stuff and they pay.  Cut them out, lower their wages, disband their unions, cut their funding (tax cuts), you get less customers.  What we have now, is Capitalism run-amuk, and it's eating itself.

Anyway, I've got more, but thinking about this bullshit is threatening to take away from my happiness about going to the Wiltern tonight to see the greatest live rock-n-roll band in the world, so I'll stop for now...

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bbill

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Re: DANGER! - Political Thread
« Reply #47 on: Sep 12, 2012, 05:57 PM »
This has been a great thread to read, and I wish I had the time to contribute.

I am a big advocate of the public sector, without caveat.  Here's my reasoning, which maybe someone can poke holes in, but I've yet to encounter them (the someone or the holes).  The government is a non-profit, period.  It doesn't 'save' money, obviously, just look at the debt.  Is it inefficient? Yes. Are people 'over-paid'? Yes. Do people skate by, underperform, and generally game the system?  Absolutely.  I say, who cares.  Unlike the wealthy, who benefit by paying less taxes and then save the tax savings, government employees USE the money.  They buy things.  It's a rare public sector employee who makes over 250k annually, and they aren't just banking the money in Switzerland or the Bahamas.  They use it to live, they buy cars and food, rent hotels, buy clothes, and generally do things that require other people (private sector people) to have jobs.  This promotes the system, the Capitalist system.  And we need tax dollars to pay them, this is what's lost in the conversation.  The same reasoning also applies to those receiving government assistance, but to an even greater extent, they REALLY are using every last dollar they get, and those dollars provide jobs for workers.

I kind of like this reasoning, but would argue that almost without exception, government employees are overpaid relative to their private sector counterparts if you consider something like a $ paid per "unit of production" comparison. Throughout the federal gov't beauracracy and military the waste is sickening. If a 10% reduction in gov't payroll corresponded to a direct reduction to income taxes, the money would still make it's way to consumer markets. I'm all for giving people to ability to work (Ron Paul's proposal to eliminate those fed departments was just irresponsible), but federal employee salaries (and entitlements) need to be recalibrated to the actual work being done.

Also, what are some good online political news and editorial resources that you guys like?
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exist10z

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Re: DANGER! - Political Thread
« Reply #48 on: Sep 12, 2012, 06:33 PM »
This has been a great thread to read, and I wish I had the time to contribute.

I am a big advocate of the public sector, without caveat.  Here's my reasoning, which maybe someone can poke holes in, but I've yet to encounter them (the someone or the holes).  The government is a non-profit, period.  It doesn't 'save' money, obviously, just look at the debt.  Is it inefficient? Yes. Are people 'over-paid'? Yes. Do people skate by, underperform, and generally game the system?  Absolutely.  I say, who cares.  Unlike the wealthy, who benefit by paying less taxes and then save the tax savings, government employees USE the money.  They buy things.  It's a rare public sector employee who makes over 250k annually, and they aren't just banking the money in Switzerland or the Bahamas.  They use it to live, they buy cars and food, rent hotels, buy clothes, and generally do things that require other people (private sector people) to have jobs.  This promotes the system, the Capitalist system.  And we need tax dollars to pay them, this is what's lost in the conversation.  The same reasoning also applies to those receiving government assistance, but to an even greater extent, they REALLY are using every last dollar they get, and those dollars provide jobs for workers.

I kind of like this reasoning, but would argue that almost without exception, government employees are overpaid relative to their private sector counterparts if you consider something like a $ paid per "unit of production" comparison. Throughout the federal gov't beauracracy and military the waste is sickening. If a 10% reduction in gov't payroll corresponded to a direct reduction to income taxes, the money would still make it's way to consumer markets. I'm all for giving people to ability to work (Ron Paul's proposal to eliminate those fed departments was just irresponsible), but federal employee salaries (and entitlements) need to be recalibrated to the actual work being done.

Also, what are some good online political news and editorial resources that you guys like?

Hey bbill, don't worry about contributing here, just trade me your best fantasy players cheap, that's all you need to worry about. :grin:

Ok, some things to address, but later, I really do need to get to the Wiltern now...

Oh, but real fast, and el_chode already dismissed this with prejudice, but I do look at The Huffington Post, not everything, there's a lot of shit on there, but there is some intelligent commentary and opinion as well.  I particularly like Robert Reich and Paul Krugman, both of whom contribute to HuffPo, and you can find Krugman at The New York Times as well.  I am guessing el_chode is gonna dismiss them as 'part of the system', but I think they are fairly insightful.  I also check Slate.com and sometimes read The Nation.  Hope that helps, I may be undermining my credibility (like I had any), for sure I'm opening myself up to be called a sucker by el_chode by revealing this...
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el_chode

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Re: DANGER! - Political Thread
« Reply #49 on: Sep 12, 2012, 09:29 PM »
This has been a great thread to read, and I wish I had the time to contribute.

I am a big advocate of the public sector, without caveat.  Here's my reasoning, which maybe someone can poke holes in, but I've yet to encounter them (the someone or the holes).  The government is a non-profit, period.  It doesn't 'save' money, obviously, just look at the debt.  Is it inefficient? Yes. Are people 'over-paid'? Yes. Do people skate by, underperform, and generally game the system?  Absolutely.  I say, who cares.  Unlike the wealthy, who benefit by paying less taxes and then save the tax savings, government employees USE the money.  They buy things.  It's a rare public sector employee who makes over 250k annually, and they aren't just banking the money in Switzerland or the Bahamas.  They use it to live, they buy cars and food, rent hotels, buy clothes, and generally do things that require other people (private sector people) to have jobs.  This promotes the system, the Capitalist system.  And we need tax dollars to pay them, this is what's lost in the conversation.  The same reasoning also applies to those receiving government assistance, but to an even greater extent, they REALLY are using every last dollar they get, and those dollars provide jobs for workers.

I kind of like this reasoning, but would argue that almost without exception, government employees are overpaid relative to their private sector counterparts if you consider something like a $ paid per "unit of production" comparison. Throughout the federal gov't beauracracy and military the waste is sickening. If a 10% reduction in gov't payroll corresponded to a direct reduction to income taxes, the money would still make it's way to consumer markets. I'm all for giving people to ability to work (Ron Paul's proposal to eliminate those fed departments was just irresponsible), but federal employee salaries (and entitlements) need to be recalibrated to the actual work being done.

Also, what are some good online political news and editorial resources that you guys like?

I am fluish right now, and I will return to reply to exist probably tomorrow, but I want to point something out since this seems to be in my wheelhouse.

I am public employee.
I make less than most teachers in my state (though, not less than many in inner city schools. I am not sure as to the salaries of teachers in Newark though I could look it up)
By way of comparison, I make about half as much as those who are technically "below" me in rank...or something like that, I never really understood how that works. Though I wouldn't advocate a pay cut for them since they are narcotics detectives in Newark and stuff. Maybe a retirement pension at 50 is a bit much, but it's more of a statement on how my state pays its legal minds.

Do I add to the economy? Not necessarily directly - putting people in jail is arguably a drain. Then again, getting restitution to a family out a couple hundred thousand or a small business taken by a dirty bookie arguably keeps said business afloat. Making life safer increases property value, stuff like that. One could also argue that every defense attorney that drowns me in discovery requests is wasting state money - but the philosopher in me says if it makes the execution of justice more efficient, then its a wash.

Getting paid more would be nice, but I never took the job expecting to be rolling in dough and I will never achieve the same level pay as many of my private sector adversaries.

I don't support HuffPo because it's a tabloid rag that abuses desperate college graduates for cheap content. Being a geek first and foremost I typically get my outrage first from ArsTechnica, Wired, and BoingBoing. The rest is a selection of Podcasts from the NPR and most often I read the Atlantic. I learn my economics from Krugman, though I don't always agree with some non-economic points he makes (typically it's an agreement on premise but perhaps not conclusion).

I have a problem with Slate where I always find the headlines intriguing and the writing to be extremely awful and boring and I stop reading. I don't know why...except sometimes Yglesias. Oh and of course I read Dear Prudence.
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Fully

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Re: DANGER! - Political Thread
« Reply #50 on: Sep 12, 2012, 09:47 PM »
Just wanted to mention that I'm a public sector employee and I will never come close to making 250k ever. Also, Chode is correct about law enforcement. They always seem to make less than teachers. There is bloat in the public sector, but it isn't the teachers or the average law enforcement. It's management. The head of my school system makes a very tidy salary, the people that work at the State Dept. of Ed make great money too even though most of what they do is come up with new ways to justify that their job even exists. We always have a new plan put in place by someone at the state dept. that needs to keep making it look like their job is important. The teacher in the classroom, the firemen, and the police and detectives aren't getting rich or even close to it. While none of us took our jobs because making money was the main priority, it can be rather frustrating when we see other people who went into private sector professions who graduated at the same time we did making five times as much or more than what we make. And if you are a teacher, you also get classified as being lazy and "bad" which is probably better than being in law enforcement and possibly shot or being a fireman and possibly burnt to a crisp.

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Re: DANGER! - Political Thread
« Reply #51 on: Sep 13, 2012, 11:51 AM »
:grin: I knew I shouldn't have opened my big mouth!

I was mostly talking about employees of the federal government, though there are tons of overpaid people at state and municipal levels also. My first sentence of what I'd originally written wasn't too clear and was too definitive. Teachers and law enforcement usually have very specific tasks and timelines, so waste isn't as much of an issue for the people "in the trenches" doing that work. But as Fully pointed out, the staff to support the administrative and management side of government at any level is where the waste is usually found.

I'm actually pretty republican (little 'r' used purposefully) in the sense that I feel our central, federal government should be limited and that the states should be the creators and providers of policy and programs to suit their residents (this would still depend on federal funding of course). I'm not against raising taxes, but I am against government waste. I live in Sacramento, the capital of the biggest shit show in the country, and I see and read about horrible wastes of time and money in my state's government operations all the time. The employees of my state deserve to work, but the ones down in the buildings surrounding the capital don't deserve to get paid what they do for what they're actually producing. I realize this is another horribly general statement, but for the most part it's true.

Chode, what do you do? Do you work for a county, or the state of NJ?
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Re: DANGER! - Political Thread
« Reply #52 on: Sep 13, 2012, 12:40 PM »
Ok, just have to jump back in real quick, more detailed points later.

So, bbill, that's sort of exactly what I was trying to argue against.  I always, always, always, hear this argument, and while the substance is factual (government is wasteful, inefficient), I believe that those making the argument, not just you bbill, don't properly interpret the outcome of this so called 'waste'. While this is probably the most common argument for smaller government, I don't think most who make it consider the alternative.  So let me try to explain my position again.

Ok, in the private sector, corporations hire employees to facilitate the making of money (for the corporations owners or shareholders), the making of money is the ONLY goal of the corporation.  It is the entire purpose of the corporation, the reason for its existence is to make as much profit as possible.  Corporations, by their very nature, must be as efficient as possible.  This means they will depress wages whenever possible, cut employees (hence wage cost) whenever possible, and off-shore production and services if those can be provided more cheaply elsewhere.  This is all fine of course, if you own the corporation.  Not so good, if you are trying to run another business that relies on the purchasing power of the other corporations' employees.  Since we are specifically addressing public vs. private sector employment here, I am not even going to even get into the lack of corporate concern for the environment, occupational safety, and general societal advancement, except to say that it isn't concerned about these things at all, and by its very nature - make as much profit as possible, corporations never will be concerned about these things.  If you have Netflix, check out a documentary call The Corporation.

So, we have private sector corporations that are as efficient as possible, and a public sector that is notoriously inefficient ('wasteful').  This is the argument, always.  Reduce the public sector, all those f-ing bureaucrats pushing paper and living off the taxpayer.  But here's the thing - who cares?  They are making money, then spending that money back out in the overall economy, which is providing jobs.  So what, we should just lay them all off, become more streamlined in government?  Why?  What is the fascination in this country with efficiency?  It's fucking over-rated.  Look, you start shrinking government, you're going to have bigger problems than we already have. You start trying to make government more efficient (like corporations), it's only going to collapse the system even faster.  That's fine with me, I am hoping for a Socialist revolution before I die, but I don't think that is the goal of most of the people who make this argument.

So government is inefficient and ineffectual, think of the alternative.  If everything was private and run for a profit, eventually we wouldn't have any employees at all (as they are just a cost corporations are trying to avoid and reduce in search of profit) and the few that might remain would be getting paid almost nothing, as the potential labor force would be much larger than the available jobs, driving down wages (this is already happening now - capitalist death spiral).  With fewer and fewer people having a source of income, or an income that provides for their needs, corporations would be able to reduce their labor force even further, because they would need to produce less products and services (again, happening now - capitalist death spiral).  This is where the public sector comes in, and whether it is efficient or wasteful is of no real concern, the point is it provides people an income which they can use to circulate back into the economy.  Lowering taxes and reducing regulation does not provide more jobs or circulate job creation spurring income back into the economy, it simply lines the already full pockets of the owners of the corporations (since they already have more than they need, the money doesn't circulate and create jobs, it just stays in the pocket/bank).  But wasteful government employees create private sector jobs, because they spend their money, increasing demand.

These principles, which I think hold all the time, are particularly true during periods of economic contraction and recession (now), as the private sector has no incentive to create jobs, they have fewer customers.  But the government can and should hire, to spur consumption and hence private sector hiring need.

Anyway, this idea is just a it more detailed version of what I wrote earlier, and I still haven't seen a decent refutation. 
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Re: DANGER! - Political Thread
« Reply #53 on: Sep 13, 2012, 12:49 PM »
I'm not saying the government should be more efficient. I'm saying that where applicable, they should be paid less because they do less. That money can be redistributed, via income tax cuts, to all middle and lower income earners.
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Ruckus

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Re: DANGER! - Political Thread
« Reply #54 on: Sep 13, 2012, 01:14 PM »
Ok, just have to jump back in real quick, more detailed points later.

So, bbill, that's sort of exactly what I was trying to argue against.  I always, always, always, hear this argument, and while the substance is factual (government is wasteful, inefficient), I believe that those making the argument, not just you bbill, don't properly interpret the outcome of this so called 'waste'. While this is probably the most common argument for smaller government, I don't think most who make it consider the alternative.  So let me try to explain again.

Ok, in the private sector, corporations hire employees to facilitate the making of money (for the corporations owners or shareholders), the making of money is the ONLY goal of the corporation.  It is the entire purpose of the corporation, the reason for its existence is to make as much profit as possible.  Corporations, by their very nature, must be as efficient as possible.  This means they will depress wages whenever possible, cut employees (hence wage cost) whenever possible, and off-shore production and services if those can be provided more cheaply elsewhere.  This is all fine of course, if you own the corporation.  Not so good, if you are trying to run another business that relies on the purchasing power of other corporations employees.  Since we are specifically addressing public vs. private sector employment here, I am not even going to get into the lack of corporate concern for the environment, occupational safety, and general societal advancement, except to say that it isn't concerned about these things at all, and by its very nature - make as much profit as possible, corporations never will be concerned about these things.  If you have Netflix, check out a documentary call The Corporation.

So, we have private sector corporations that are as efficient as possible, and a public sector that is notoriously inefficient ('wasteful').  This is the argument, always.  Reduce the public sector, all those f-ing bureaucrats pushing paper and living off the taxpayer.  But here's the thing - who cares?  They are making money, then spending that money back out in the overall economy, which is providing jobs.  So what, we should just lay them all off, become more streamlined in government?  Why?  What is the fascination in this country with efficiency?  It's fucking over-rated.  Look, you start shrinking government, you're going to have bigger problems than we already have. You start trying to make government more efficient (like corporations), it's only going to collapse the system even faster.  That's fine with me, I am hoping for a Socialist revolution before I die, but I don't think that the goal of most of the people who make this argument.

So government is inefficient and ineffectual, think of the alternative.  If everything was private and run for a profit, eventually we wouldn't have any employees at all (as they are just a cost corporations are trying to avoid and reduce im search of profit) and the few that might remain would be getting paid almost nothing, as the potential labor force would be much larger than the available jobs, driving down wages (this is already happening now - capitalist death spiral).  With fewer and fewer people having a source of income, or an income that provides for their needs, corporations would be able to reduce their labor force even further, because they would need to produce less products and services (again, happening now - capitalist death spiral).  This is where the public sector comes in, and whether it is efficient or wasteful is of no concern, the point is it provides people an income which they can use to circulate back into the economy.

Anyway, this idea is just a it more detailed version of what I wrote earlier, and I still haven't seen a decent refutation.
Stop pushing paper and get back to work! :bath:  Or get ready for another kick ass Wiltern show damnit!

I agree with much of what you have to say exist.  I think that most people that work in the private sector very much understand the nature of the corporation but look at the hard work they put in and want to keep more of it.  Of course our infatuation with efficiency is that our system is predicated upon it.  Whether the public sector functions efficiently or not, it is in their best interest that the private sector does so that it maintains a competitive advantage globally.

I agree with your desire for a socialist revolution.  Our policy has so long been detached from the needs of the masses that I'm not sure the current disconnect can ever be bridged.  Our education system still believes that teaching Shakespeare and graduating from 12th grade is relevant to obtaining gainful employment when alternate education systems should be in place teaching more relevant fields from a much younger age.  Mechanization, outsourcing, and computers have long removed mid level jobs that can never be brought back and yet we bicker over meaningless federal policy.

Bbill.  Yes there is waste in government but I will vouch for many who I have worked with that outwork their pay and then some.  The Clinton led privatization of government revolution appeased many of you (r)epublicans only to accelerate corruption and waste.

Vive la Revolution!
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bbill

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Re: DANGER! - Political Thread
« Reply #55 on: Sep 13, 2012, 01:44 PM »
You fuckin' hippies!

I'm not advocating privitizing government jobs, and that money I was saying to cut from payroll and redistribute as tax cuts, I would be just as (well not just as) happy to have that go to new government job creation. I am PRO-WORKING more than just about anything else when it comes to how government affects our lives. I want people to have the ability to work.

Here's some data from the CA state controller's office:

Number of total active employees working for the state: 221,673
Amount of gross wages paid annually: $17,900,300,256.00

That's an average salary of $80,750 a year (with some overly simplified assumptions for full and part time workers, but the order of magnitude is accurate). Some people earn that money based on the work they accomplish and produce, but most don't. A comparison to the production of the private sector isn't fair because the expectations of both sides is completely different, but we're all being paid the same dollars and work is work.

Ten percent cut off of that $17 billion payroll could help create a few jobs. I'm not making this up:  http://www.sco.ca.gov/ppsd_empinfo_demo.html
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Fully

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Re: DANGER! - Political Thread
« Reply #56 on: Sep 13, 2012, 01:48 PM »
Ok, just have to jump back in real quick, more detailed points later.

So, bbill, that's sort of exactly what I was trying to argue against.  I always, always, always, hear this argument, and while the substance is factual (government is wasteful, inefficient), I believe that those making the argument, not just you bbill, don't properly interpret the outcome of this so called 'waste'. While this is probably the most common argument for smaller government, I don't think most who make it consider the alternative.  So let me try to explain again.

Ok, in the private sector, corporations hire employees to facilitate the making of money (for the corporations owners or shareholders), the making of money is the ONLY goal of the corporation.  It is the entire purpose of the corporation, the reason for its existence is to make as much profit as possible.  Corporations, by their very nature, must be as efficient as possible.  This means they will depress wages whenever possible, cut employees (hence wage cost) whenever possible, and off-shore production and services if those can be provided more cheaply elsewhere.  This is all fine of course, if you own the corporation.  Not so good, if you are trying to run another business that relies on the purchasing power of other corporations employees.  Since we are specifically addressing public vs. private sector employment here, I am not even going to get into the lack of corporate concern for the environment, occupational safety, and general societal advancement, except to say that it isn't concerned about these things at all, and by its very nature - make as much profit as possible, corporations never will be concerned about these things.  If you have Netflix, check out a documentary call The Corporation.

So, we have private sector corporations that are as efficient as possible, and a public sector that is notoriously inefficient ('wasteful').  This is the argument, always.  Reduce the public sector, all those f-ing bureaucrats pushing paper and living off the taxpayer.  But here's the thing - who cares?  They are making money, then spending that money back out in the overall economy, which is providing jobs.  So what, we should just lay them all off, become more streamlined in government?  Why?  What is the fascination in this country with efficiency?  It's fucking over-rated.  Look, you start shrinking government, you're going to have bigger problems than we already have. You start trying to make government more efficient (like corporations), it's only going to collapse the system even faster.  That's fine with me, I am hoping for a Socialist revolution before I die, but I don't think that the goal of most of the people who make this argument.

So government is inefficient and ineffectual, think of the alternative.  If everything was private and run for a profit, eventually we wouldn't have any employees at all (as they are just a cost corporations are trying to avoid and reduce im search of profit) and the few that might remain would be getting paid almost nothing, as the potential labor force would be much larger than the available jobs, driving down wages (this is already happening now - capitalist death spiral).  With fewer and fewer people having a source of income, or an income that provides for their needs, corporations would be able to reduce their labor force even further, because they would need to produce less products and services (again, happening now - capitalist death spiral).  This is where the public sector comes in, and whether it is efficient or wasteful is of no concern, the point is it provides people an income which they can use to circulate back into the economy.

Anyway, this idea is just a it more detailed version of what I wrote earlier, and I still haven't seen a decent refutation.
Stop pushing paper and get back to work! :bath:  Or get ready for another kick ass Wiltern show damnit!

I agree with much of what you have to say exist.  I think that most people that work in the private sector very much understand the nature of the corporation but look at the hard work they put in and want to keep more of it.  Of course our infatuation with efficiency is that our system is predicated upon it.  Whether the public sector functions efficiently or not, it is in their best interest that the private sector does so that it maintains a competitive advantage globally.

I agree with your desire for a socialist revolution.  Our policy has so long been detached from the needs of the masses that I'm not sure the current disconnect can ever be bridged.  Our education system still believes that teaching Shakespeare and graduating from 12th grade is relevant to obtaining gainful employment when alternate education systems should be in place teaching more relevant fields from a much younger age.  Mechanization, outsourcing, and computers have long removed mid level jobs that can never be brought back and yet we bicker over meaningless federal policy.

Bbill.  Yes there is waste in government but I will vouch for many who I have worked with that outwork their pay and then some.  The Clinton led privatization of government revolution appeased many of you (r)epublicans only to accelerate corruption and waste.

Vive la Revolution!

Oh no, you didn't!  :shocked:

Ruckus

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Re: DANGER! - Political Thread
« Reply #57 on: Sep 13, 2012, 01:49 PM »
You fuckin' hippies!

I'm not advocating privitizing government jobs, and that money I was saying to cut from payroll and redistribute as tax cuts, I would be just as (well not just as) happy to have that go to new government job creation. I am PRO-WORKING more than just about anything else when it comes to how government affects our lives. I want people to have the ability to work.

Here's some data from the CA state controller's office:

Number of total active employees working for the state: 221,673
Amount of gross wages paid annually: $17,900,300,256.00

That's an average salary of $80,750 a year (with some overly simplified assumptions for full and part time workers, but the order of magnitude is accurate). Some people earn that money based on the work they accomplish and produce, but most don't. A comparison to the production of the private sector isn't fair because the expectations of both sides is completely different, but we're all being paid the same dollars and work is work.

Ten percent cut off of that $17 billion payroll could help create a few jobs. I'm not making this up:  http://www.sco.ca.gov/ppsd_empinfo_demo.html
There's no way the mean salary of a CA state employee exceeds $80,000?!  That either excludes contracted employees from the former, includes contracted wages from the latter, or both.
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Ruckus

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Re: DANGER! - Political Thread
« Reply #58 on: Sep 13, 2012, 01:53 PM »
Ok, just have to jump back in real quick, more detailed points later.

So, bbill, that's sort of exactly what I was trying to argue against.  I always, always, always, hear this argument, and while the substance is factual (government is wasteful, inefficient), I believe that those making the argument, not just you bbill, don't properly interpret the outcome of this so called 'waste'. While this is probably the most common argument for smaller government, I don't think most who make it consider the alternative.  So let me try to explain again.

Ok, in the private sector, corporations hire employees to facilitate the making of money (for the corporations owners or shareholders), the making of money is the ONLY goal of the corporation.  It is the entire purpose of the corporation, the reason for its existence is to make as much profit as possible.  Corporations, by their very nature, must be as efficient as possible.  This means they will depress wages whenever possible, cut employees (hence wage cost) whenever possible, and off-shore production and services if those can be provided more cheaply elsewhere.  This is all fine of course, if you own the corporation.  Not so good, if you are trying to run another business that relies on the purchasing power of other corporations employees.  Since we are specifically addressing public vs. private sector employment here, I am not even going to get into the lack of corporate concern for the environment, occupational safety, and general societal advancement, except to say that it isn't concerned about these things at all, and by its very nature - make as much profit as possible, corporations never will be concerned about these things.  If you have Netflix, check out a documentary call The Corporation.

So, we have private sector corporations that are as efficient as possible, and a public sector that is notoriously inefficient ('wasteful').  This is the argument, always.  Reduce the public sector, all those f-ing bureaucrats pushing paper and living off the taxpayer.  But here's the thing - who cares?  They are making money, then spending that money back out in the overall economy, which is providing jobs.  So what, we should just lay them all off, become more streamlined in government?  Why?  What is the fascination in this country with efficiency?  It's fucking over-rated.  Look, you start shrinking government, you're going to have bigger problems than we already have. You start trying to make government more efficient (like corporations), it's only going to collapse the system even faster.  That's fine with me, I am hoping for a Socialist revolution before I die, but I don't think that the goal of most of the people who make this argument.

So government is inefficient and ineffectual, think of the alternative.  If everything was private and run for a profit, eventually we wouldn't have any employees at all (as they are just a cost corporations are trying to avoid and reduce im search of profit) and the few that might remain would be getting paid almost nothing, as the potential labor force would be much larger than the available jobs, driving down wages (this is already happening now - capitalist death spiral).  With fewer and fewer people having a source of income, or an income that provides for their needs, corporations would be able to reduce their labor force even further, because they would need to produce less products and services (again, happening now - capitalist death spiral).  This is where the public sector comes in, and whether it is efficient or wasteful is of no concern, the point is it provides people an income which they can use to circulate back into the economy.

Anyway, this idea is just a it more detailed version of what I wrote earlier, and I still haven't seen a decent refutation.
Stop pushing paper and get back to work! :bath:  Or get ready for another kick ass Wiltern show damnit!

I agree with much of what you have to say exist.  I think that most people that work in the private sector very much understand the nature of the corporation but look at the hard work they put in and want to keep more of it.  Of course our infatuation with efficiency is that our system is predicated upon it.  Whether the public sector functions efficiently or not, it is in their best interest that the private sector does so that it maintains a competitive advantage globally.

I agree with your desire for a socialist revolution.  Our policy has so long been detached from the needs of the masses that I'm not sure the current disconnect can ever be bridged.  Our education system still believes that teaching Shakespeare and graduating from 12th grade is relevant to obtaining gainful employment when alternate education systems should be in place teaching more relevant fields from a much younger age.  Mechanization, outsourcing, and computers have long removed mid level jobs that can never be brought back and yet we bicker over meaningless federal policy.

Bbill.  Yes there is waste in government but I will vouch for many who I have worked with that outwork their pay and then some.  The Clinton led privatization of government revolution appeased many of you (r)epublicans only to accelerate corruption and waste.

Vive la Revolution!

Oh no, you didn't!  :shocked:
:evil:
Can You Put Your Soft Helmet On My Head

bbill

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Re: DANGER! - Political Thread
« Reply #59 on: Sep 13, 2012, 01:56 PM »
You fuckin' hippies!

I'm not advocating privitizing government jobs, and that money I was saying to cut from payroll and redistribute as tax cuts, I would be just as (well not just as) happy to have that go to new government job creation. I am PRO-WORKING more than just about anything else when it comes to how government affects our lives. I want people to have the ability to work.

Here's some data from the CA state controller's office:

Number of total active employees working for the state: 221,673
Amount of gross wages paid annually: $17,900,300,256.00

That's an average salary of $80,750 a year (with some overly simplified assumptions for full and part time workers, but the order of magnitude is accurate). Some people earn that money based on the work they accomplish and produce, but most don't. A comparison to the production of the private sector isn't fair because the expectations of both sides is completely different, but we're all being paid the same dollars and work is work.

Ten percent cut off of that $17 billion payroll could help create a few jobs. I'm not making this up:  http://www.sco.ca.gov/ppsd_empinfo_demo.html
There's no way the mean salary of a CA state employee exceeds $80,000?!  That either excludes contracted employees from the former, includes contracted wages from the latter, or both.

Yeah, that does seem high... :rolleyes: It does exclude CSU employees, of which there are 47,000. That brings the avg annual down to $66,600. But even if it was less than that, it SHOULD be less than that, imo. The gross payout from the Controller's office is accurate though, and a reduction of that would be a significant amount of cash that should be better used elsewhere.

EDIT: State average is $67,929.59 per this Sac Bee study: http://www.sacbee.com/statepay/

Hover over the state average bar on the salaries earned chart. Jeff Tedford (Cal Coach) is the highest paid state worker! Go beat OSU and earn that money!  :grin:
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