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Old Nov 6, 2012, 01:27 PM   #26
Queen of Spades
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Originally Posted by dime21 View Post
The huffington post? Really? Try finding a credible news source first, not internet hipster drivel.
Says the guy who posted a link to "Nice Deb's blogspot" to prove his own point. Also telling that you completely ignored the OP and the question of Romney's response to something like this. Unsurprising, though.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 01:47 PM   #27
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The huffington post? Really? Try finding a credible news source first, not internet hipster drivel.

And isn't it funny how a highly poisonous quote from Obama, and immediately you say Woah, stop the presses, hang on a moment, don't jump to any conclusions, we have to examine the context first. And then you go about repeating Romney's 47% sound bite without ever having listened to the full thing.

That's one thing about hypocrites - they sure do make me chuckle! Keep trying though, I enjoy a good laugh.
Fox news is more accurate I'm guessing ?

http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost...8&postcount=31
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 01:51 PM   #28
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And then you go about repeating Romney's 47% sound bite without ever having listened to the full thing.

That's one thing about hypocrites - they sure do make me chuckle! Keep trying though, I enjoy a good laugh.
Your ****ing kidding right? I listened to 40 minutes of that fundraiser. There is no other context, as far as the election goes romney he knows 47% of the nation won't vote for him. He then just outright lies about who makes up that 47%.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 01:52 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by dime21 View Post
The huffington post? Really? Try finding a credible news source first, not internet hipster drivel.
Greetings from Htrae!

Remember kids, the Huffington Post is "internet hipster drivel" but Nice Deb is a deep source.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 02:04 PM   #30
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Unfortunately politics wise there is not much difference between Rombama and Obamney. Wallstreet marionette #1 vs. Wallstreet marionette #2. It's just a political theatre image thing. Both will not give people more freedom or change anything for the better.

People who are still treating Obama as the second coming of Christ seriously need to open their eyes.
You are the one that sounds like they may need some eye opening. Romney doesn't even MENTION gay people in his rally speeches, while Obama does quite often, so why would you think they are the same? Do you think Romney would have signed hate crimes legislation, signed the hospital visitation order, repealed DADT, not defended DOMA, said on national TV that gays should be married? Invited gay couples and their children to the White House for Easter Egg roll only a few months into his Presidency? Spoken at every HRC dinner each year? No. Just like Romney said "you talk about the things that you think are important" so clearly he finds gays and gay rights completely unimportant. So no. They are NOT the same. Not to a women concerned about abortion, not to gay people, not to anyone who cares about equality. Not the same.

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Funny, since Romney released his tax returns and everything is clean and kosher 100%, but Obama has sealed his, along with his college records, and everything else he can hide from the public.
Obama sealed his taxes? Oh dear, I think you may be coming down with a case of Romnesia. Romney is the one who has sealed and hid his taxes. Oh..and I haven't seen Romney's college records either, have you???
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 02:15 PM   #31
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Really? Hate is getting tired? I would never have guessed that, from all the Christophobic comments and threads in this forum, the nasty trolling responses to any comment critical of Obama or his failed policies, and the disdain towards any financially successful individuals. Romney, for example. Oh look, Romney's worth $100M, he's a bad man for it! He must have stolen it like a criminal! Funny, since Romney released his tax returns and everything is clean and kosher 100%, but Obama has sealed his, along with his college records, and everything else he can hide from the public. Hate is alive and well my friend, have a peek at a mirror to see how it looks.
WTF was that about? You just spewed out a bunch of rambling nonsense.

Obama is for equality for all.

Romney is against rights for women, gays, and the working class. He's also against the protections that all Americans now have under health care. I can go on and on.
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 12:59 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by MadeTheSwitch View Post
You are the one that sounds like they may need some eye opening. Romney doesn't even MENTION gay people in his rally speeches, while Obama does quite often, so why would you think they are the same? Do you think Romney would have signed hate crimes legislation, signed the hospital visitation order, repealed DADT, not defended DOMA, said on national TV that gays should be married? Invited gay couples and their children to the White House for Easter Egg roll only a few months into his Presidency? Spoken at every HRC dinner each year? No. Just like Romney said "you talk about the things that you think are important" so clearly he finds gays and gay rights completely unimportant. So no. They are NOT the same. Not to a women concerned about abortion, not to gay people, not to anyone who cares about equality. Not the same.
That's certainly very nice, but as long as torture is being tolerated, as long as there are things like prolonged detention, as long as billions are given to criminal banking cartels with their lobbyists everywhere, as long as the military budget gets higher than ever every year, I fail to get excited about people searching easter eggs in the White House.

Apart from that, no, I do not care about equality! Everyone is different, has different interests and talents. And that is a good thing. I care very much about equal rights for everyone though!

I'm not from the US but from Europe, but concerning votes there is not much difference. I'm simply sick of being presented two evils and then being asked which is the lesser one. I'm after more freedom and equal rights than any banking cartel sponsored candidate anywhere in the world is allowed to offer.

Here are some things Obama and Romney have in common:

Mitt Romney supported Barack Obama’s “economic stimulus” packages.

Mitt Romney says that Barack Obama’s bailout of the auto industry was actually his idea.

Neither candidate supports immediately balancing the federal budget.

They both believe in big government and they both have a track record of being big spenders while in office.

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney both fully support the Federal Reserve.

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are both on record as saying that the president should not question the “independence” of the Federal Reserve.

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have both said that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke did a good job during the last financial crisis.

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney both felt that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke deserved to be renominated to a second term.

Both candidates oppose a full audit of the Federal Reserve.

Both candidates are on record as saying that U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has done a good job.

Mitt Romney was the one who developed the plan that Obamacare was later based upon.

Wall Street absolutely showers both candidates with campaign contributions.

Neither candidate wants to eliminate the income tax or the IRS.

Both candidates want to keep personal income tax rates at the exact same levels for the vast majority of Americans.

Both candidates are “open” to the idea of imposing a Value Added Tax on the American people.

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney both believe that the TSA is doing a great job.

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney both supported the renewal of the Patriot Act.

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney both believe that the federal government should be able to indefinitely detain American citizens that are considered to be terrorists.

Both candidates believe that American citizens suspected of being terrorists can be killed by the president without a trial.

Barack Obama has not closed Guantanamo Bay like he promised to do, and Mitt Romney actually wants to double the number of prisoners held there.

They both support the job-killing “free trade” agenda of the international banking cartels.

They both accuse each other of shipping jobs out of the country and both of them are right.

Both candidates earned a degree from Harvard University.

Mitt Romney has said that he will support a “cap and trade” carbon tax scheme (like the one Barack Obama wants) as long as the entire globe goes along with it.

Like Barack Obama, Mitt Romney also plans to add “signing statements” to bills when he signs them into law.

They both have a horrible record when it comes to job creation.

Both candidates believe that the president has the power to take the country to war without getting the approval of the U.S. Congress.

Both candidates plan to continue running up more government debt even though the U.S. government is already 16 trillion dollars in debt.
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 01:10 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by chaosbunny View Post
Here are some things Obama and Romney have in common:
The election's over!

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Barack Obama has not closed Guantanamo Bay like he promised to do
This is due to Congress not approving it. Obama said on Jon Stewart that's one of his goals for his 2nd term that he couldn't get done in the past 4 years.
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 01:38 PM   #34
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I'm simply sick of being presented two evils and then being asked which is the lesser one.
You have far more to select from than "two evils" ...

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A total of 417 people filed a Statement of Candidacy with the Federal Election Commission to run for President in 2012. Most did not appear on the ballot in any state in the general election on November 6.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_...her_candidates
If you're quibbling over the fact that only those "two evils" has a chance of winning, then that's another story.

But the alternatives are available to you.
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 03:30 AM   #35
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This is due to Congress not approving it. Obama said on Jon Stewart that's one of his goals for his 2nd term that he couldn't get done in the past 4 years.
Well Obama signed enough signing statements and executive orders, ruling over congress. He sure says nice things, but doesn't act accordingly. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

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If you're quibbling over the fact that only those "two evils" has a chance of winning, then that's another story.
Well, that's the realistic view on it in my opinion. Like I said, I'm from Europe but it's the same thing here. The only "change" I see is more taxes, more surveillance of every citizen and more money for the banks.
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 03:44 AM   #36
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That's certainly very nice, but as long as torture is being tolerated, as long as there are things like prolonged detention, as long as billions are given to criminal banking cartels with their lobbyists everywhere, as long as the military budget gets higher than ever every year, I fail to get excited about people searching easter eggs in the White House.
You may fail to get excited, but that still doesn't make the two the same. Neither does any of the other stuff you posted. Just because some of their policies are the same, does not mean all of them are. There are usually only two positions on any given issue. I guess you want one to always be the opposite of the other on everything, but that is not realistic.

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Apart from that, no, I do not care about equality! Everyone is different, has different interests and talents.
Well, I am glad we are in agreement then.

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Neither candidate supports immediately balancing the federal budget.
I'm curious...just how would YOU go about immediately balancing the budget? Mass austerity measures?

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They both believe in big government and they both have a track record of being big spenders while in office.
Here's a little secret for you...most all the candidates believe in big government and the ones that do not, will never get elected. Because most voters also believe in big government. At this point, if you want small government you are going to have to build a time machine. Although, no doubt while smaller, the government of the 1800's even would look big in comparison to the average person's life then. It's all relative.

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Both candidates earned a degree from Harvard University.
Gasp! How awful! What does this have to do with ANYTHING? People can't go to the same schools now either?
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 09:02 AM   #37
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Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.
I think the proper quote is "Fool me once, shame on...shame on you. Fool me...You can't get fooled again."
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 10:26 AM   #38
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There are usually only two positions on any given issue.
Eh, no. Most media makes it look like this though. Otherwise people would have to think too much.

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I guess you want one to always be the opposite of the other on everything, but that is not realistic.
No, but I'd like a candidate that doesn't support torture, that doesn't sign legislation to imprison people without a fair trial, that doesn't give billions to criminal megabanks and that doesn't raise the military budget to new highs every year while some people are starving. I guess that's too much to ask? So you think these things are just fine and no problem?

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Here's a little secret for you...most all the candidates believe in big government and the ones that do not, will never get elected. Because most voters also believe in big government.
Here's a little secret for you ... the government doesn't have any money. The governments money has to be stolen from the people. And most of what's stolen doesn't go to security, health care, education and other useful things. These days most of it goes to administration, support of lobbyists interests, bailouts for banks and stuff like this. 10-20% taxes would be enough to cover everything people need, but at least here in Europe we are paying around 70%.

We don't have to agree on anything, because again "everyone is different, has different interests and talents. And that is a good thing."

Just an honest question, do you really believe everything is more or less just fine the way it is?
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 10:35 AM   #39
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Here's a little secret for you ... the government doesn't have any money. The governments money has to be stolen from the people.
I thought you were doing okay until this point. Then your post ran right off the rails.

Another government is taking my money by force opinion.



I'm so sorry that society is such an imposition on you.

It must pain you tremendously to have to live amongst it.

I am so sorry.

Really.

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Old Nov 10, 2012, 11:15 AM   #40
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No, but I'd like a candidate that doesn't support torture, that doesn't sign legislation to imprison people without a fair trial, that doesn't give billions to criminal megabanks and that doesn't raise the military budget to new highs every year while some people are starving. I guess that's too much to ask? So you think these things are just fine and no problem?
The President isn't a dictator, he's the head of the executive branch. Congress (the legislative branch) are the ones that actually make the budget decisions. The President just signs it (or vetoes it) and then executes it.

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Here's a little secret for you ... the government doesn't have any money. The governments money has to be stolen from the people.
You had credibility until this. Now it just looks like you don't understand. Taxes are not money "stolen from the people." Taxes are paid to the government for the services the government provides and the price of living in a society that provides these things. The government works for the people.

How else would you propose we pay for defense, fire, rescue, police, bridges, roads, other infrastructure, consumer protection, affordable education, etc?

Don't want to pay taxes? Move to a completely isolated and deserted island and live on your own without any infrastructure or services that you don't provide for yourself. And good luck with that.

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And most of what's stolen doesn't go to security, health care, education and other useful things. These days most of it goes to administration, support of lobbyists interests, bailouts for banks and stuff like this. 10-20% taxes would be enough to cover everything people need, but at least here in Europe we are paying around 70%.
Well, actually, the biggest portion of the US budget is security and homeland defense.

http://www.usaspending.gov/explore

You can see where all the money goes there.

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Just an honest question, do you really believe everything is more or less just fine the way it is?
Nope, I always think we can be making improvements. And we had a choice of two completely different candidates. One of them wanted to move us backwards to the 1950s, restrict civil rights, cut taxes for the rich, and eliminate many services the government. The other wants to move forward into a 21st century America, supports civil rights for all, doesn't support more tax cuts for people who pay half the percentage of taxes of the majority of the country, and doesn't want to cut services that people rely on.

If you can't see the difference between what these two men wanted to do for this country and still think taxes are "stolen from the people" then you need to stop being so cynical and do some research.
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 11:34 AM   #41
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Just an honest question, do you really believe everything is more or less just fine the way it is?
If you're going to throw the qualifier "more or less" in, then I'd say yes, everything is fine the way it is.

I'm able to live a very comfortable life, find love, employment, enjoy leisure time, partake in hobbies, art, sport, entertainment, improve my body and mind.

All this is available to me for a modicum of effort and achievement on my part.

I'd say that's "more or less just fine".
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 03:58 PM   #42
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Eh, no. Most media makes it look like this though. Otherwise people would have to think too much.
Okay then. Give me some examples where there are more then two sides of an issue. You yourself have outlined some very yes/no differences yourself. Yes or no to torture. What other position is there? Torture only for some on odd numbered days?

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No, but I'd like a candidate that doesn't support torture, that doesn't sign legislation to imprison people without a fair trial, that doesn't give billions to criminal megabanks and that doesn't raise the military budget to new highs every year while some people are starving. I guess that's too much to ask? So you think these things are just fine and no problem?
I also don't support torture. I believe Obama stopped waterboarding as an acceptable means. Michelle Bachman wanted it continued. Not sure if her fellow GOP candidates did or not. Obama is holding the line on the military as well whereas Romney would have increased it. So in fact, there was the difference you are asking for on that issue. As for the other things I am in full agreement with you, but in U.S. elections, there are only two people with a real shot at the White House. Not 6, not 10, not 14. Just 2. if they take the same positions on certain things you can either throw away your vote on someone that has no shot, or you can stay home or you can vote for the one that agrees with you the most. That is your three choices.

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Here's a little secret for you ... the government doesn't have any money. The governments money has to be stolen from the people
If you think that money is "stolen" from people then you are being unreasonable and haven't thought things through. If there was no money at all "stolen" from people how long do you think it would be before the boarders of that country were overrun because there was no money to defend yourself? It's not like an individual is going to be funding aircraft, bombs and missiles.

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Just an honest question, do you really believe everything is more or less just fine the way it is?
Actually, yes. There is always room for improvement and we have some definite financial challenges ahead of us, but just as we have solved problems of the past, we will get through these problems too. The quality of life is much better now then it was 236 years ago when our country started.
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 04:45 AM   #43
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First of all, thanks for the discussion. I'm no native English speaker and writing about complex things like these is not too easy, but great practice.

I didn't write I want no taxes, I wrote that 10-20% would be enough. I'm all for taxes for basic health care, education, police, fire-brigades, bridges, roads, ... actual useful things.

I'm against taxes for criminal bank bailouts, for more military than can ever be used (for example, how many times does the military need to nuke the entire world - I hope you know what I mean), for pushing lobbyist legislation that only benefits big corporations and ships peoples jobs overseas, for inefficient administration, ...

My 10-20% number may be a little low, but there is certainly a very huge portion of our taxes that doesn't end up for useful things that benefit the people, but goes to waste.

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You had credibility until this.
No problem if you disagree with my tax comment. But how does that suddenly turn the other stuff I wrote into rubbish?

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If you're going to throw the qualifier "more or less" in, then I'd say yes, everything is fine the way it is.
In my opinion that's actually quite an egoistic thing to say. Everything might be more or less fine for the people living in North America, Europe and certain other countries, but if you look and the rest of world? Things are certainly not fine for people living in Africa, India, China, ...

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Okay then. Give me some examples where there are more then two sides of an issue. You yourself have outlined some very yes/no differences yourself. Yes or no to torture. What other position is there? Torture only for some on odd numbered days?
That's actually already the example. In the EU Lissabon treaty it says something like torture is tolerated if someone is an extreme danger for society (I only know it exactly in my language and have tried a rough translation). Pretty vague - "extreme danger for society". Could be a lunatic planning a terror attack, could be a journalist criticising the government.

Like I wrote in the beginning of this post, there is also no simple "yes or no" to taxes. It depends on which taxes and what they are used for. Again, taxes for health care, police, education, etc. YES PLEASE! Taxes for bank bailouts and the next 1000 nukes - NO THANKS!
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 05:35 AM   #44
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10-20% taxes would be enough to cover everything people need, but at least here in Europe we are paying around 70%.
70%? Er... no, we're not. The OECD average is 35%. The far ends of the scale are Belgium (56%) and Germany (50%) at the top, and Mexico (17%) and Chile (7%) at the bottom. Boy, I sure am tempted to move to Mexico and enjoy my new lifestyle in paradise! No wonder the border has to be guarded, with all those Americans trying to get into Mexico... oh, wait.

The US and Canada are at 30% and 31%, respectively. Most European countries are in the 40-45% span.

Over 40% of the US federal budget goes to defense, so even if you're a libertarian who argues that the government should only provide military defense and law enforcement, 10% wouldn't be enough. Plus, with the anarcho-capitalist dog-eat-dog zombie apocalypse dystopia that you'd end up with, you'd need a law enforcement budget about the same size as the defense budget...
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 06:24 AM   #45
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70%? Er... no, we're not. The OECD average is 35%. The far ends of the scale are Belgium (56%) and Germany (50%) at the top, and Mexico (17%) and Chile (7%) at the bottom. Boy, I sure am tempted to move to Mexico and enjoy my new lifestyle in paradise! No wonder the border has to be guarded, with all those Americans trying to get into Mexico... oh, wait.

The US and Canada are at 30% and 31%, respectively. Most European countries are in the 40-45% span.
That's just the income tax. You have to add everything up, income tax, sales tax (that you pay on everything you buy) and others like energy tax, car tax, ... - then you get above 70%.

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Over 40% of the US federal budget goes to defense, so even if you're a libertarian who argues that the government should only provide military defense and law enforcement, 10% wouldn't be enough. Plus, with the anarcho-capitalist dog-eat-dog zombie apocalypse dystopia that you'd end up with, you'd need a law enforcement budget about the same size as the defense budget...
Well, in my opinion we are heading towards an anarcho-socialist dog-eat-dog zombie apocalypse dystopia. How too much big government and too much socialism ends up was proven more than enough in the 20th century - Hitler, Stalin, Mao. Don't ever think that can't happen again - especially when times get rough during an economic crisis that gets worse and worse because the bailouts are just more fuel for the fire.
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 09:53 AM   #46
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First of all, thanks for the discussion. I'm no native English speaker and writing about complex things like these is not too easy, but great practice.
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Well, in my opinion we are heading towards an anarcho-socialist dog-eat-dog zombie apocalypse dystopia.
From your sentence above, your non-native English is far better than my non-native anything.
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 11:34 AM   #47
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Well, in my opinion we are heading towards an anarcho-socialist dog-eat-dog zombie apocalypse dystopia. How too much big government and too much socialism ends up was proven more than enough in the 20th century - Hitler, Stalin, Mao. Don't ever think that can't happen again - especially when times get rough during an economic crisis that gets worse and worse because the bailouts are just more fuel for the fire.
You might want to get a dictionary or economics book and look up what socialism actually is.

For example, Obamacare isn't socialism. As long as private corporations are involved, which no doubt they will always be in capitalist America, it can't be socialism.

The only true socialist things we have are fire, police, and public schools and libraries, which are things you are better off having the government run anyways. It's always going to be cheaper because they don't have a profit margin.
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 12:48 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by zioxide View Post
You might want to get a dictionary or economics book and look up what socialism actually is.

For example, Obamacare isn't socialism. As long as private corporations are involved, which no doubt they will always be in capitalist America, it can't be socialism.

The only true socialist things we have are fire, police, and public schools and libraries, which are things you are better off having the government run anyways. It's always going to be cheaper because they don't have a profit margin.
Run by the Government =/= Socialist.
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 01:12 PM   #49
Anuba
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Originally Posted by chaosbunny View Post
That's just the income tax. You have to add everything up, income tax, sales tax (that you pay on everything you buy) and others like energy tax, car tax, ... - then you get above 70%.
No. Belgian's don't pay 56% income tax, that would be beyond insane. No country has a yearly tax revenue above 50%, thus you can't have an average of 70% tax.
If an employee in Sweden earns 25,000 SEK, he/she will receive 19,010 SEK after taxes. The employer will have to pay a total of 32,855 SEK to cover corporate taxes. So out of those 32,855, 42% goes in tax and the employee gets to keep 19,010 (58%). The biggest monthly cost is probably rent or mortgages, and there's no sales tax on that. There's a 25% sales tax on goods and 12,5% on groceries, though, but even then you're far, far away from 70% tax. Also, when comparing to the US you should take into account all the stuff they have to pay for that Swedes pay via tax. Healthcare, university studies, generous unemployment benefits etc.

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Well, in my opinion we are heading towards an anarcho-socialist dog-eat-dog zombie apocalypse dystopia.
Hardly. After Thatcher, Europe has been moving way, way to the right of where it was in the 1970's and 80's. What's happening is that the global economy is driving everything to a convergence point. The US is moving slightly to the left now with universal healthcare, Europe keeps moving to the right.

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How too much big government and too much socialism ends up was proven more than enough in the 20th century - Hitler, Stalin, Mao. Don't ever think that can't happen again - especially when times get rough during an economic crisis that gets worse and worse because the bailouts are just more fuel for the fire.
Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Napoleon, the ayatollahs of Iran... revolutions always start the same way. Widespread poverty among the people while the elite is swimming in luxury. Back then they were emperors, kings, czars and shahs, the royalty of today are fat cats on Wall Street. The best way to avoid history repeating itself is to fight poverty and huge income gaps. The countries with the best track record of keeping poverty at bay, according to the UN, are the Scandinavian so-called Nanny States, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark. And unsurprisingly, Scandinavia is one of the most peaceful parts of the world. Sweden has not been involved in armed conflict for 200 years, the others were dragged into WWII through no fault of their own. Sweden took the hit of the Great Depression well and fully recovered in 1934. If Germany's economy had been anything like Sweden's in the mid 30's, Hitler probably never would've gained footing because the widespread discontent he used to his advantage wouldn't have been there.

When attacking ideologies it's always convenient to cherry pick the worst examples to create false equivalencies. "Oh yeah, you wanna raise taxes and have universal health care? You want the US to become like Greece and Spain?"
Going all-in with socialism/communism is a terrible idea, and so is anarcho-capitalism on the other end of the spectrum. Extremes are never the answer. But the balance that Sweden found turned out to be very successful. Swedes enjoyed the highest standard of living in the world in the 50's and 60's, and it's hard to motivate complaints about the political system when everyone's happy, well fed, driving nice cars and living in nice houses.
If you ask the far right, hardcore Ayn Rand fans in the GOP, their favorite decade is probably the 1950's -- the glory days of the perfect, well groomed middle class family driving to the supermarket in a Chevrolet and sporting Colgate smiles. The great irony of this is of course that in the 1950's, America was much more like Sweden, much more egalitarian with a very narrow income distribution.

The people who pay the highest taxes in the world are the Danes, and if you look at other studies and statistics, you'll also find that Danes are A) The happiest people in the world, B) the most satisfied workers in the world. They love their lives and their jobs. If you quit your job in Denmark, you'll receive 90% of your latest salary in unemployment benefits (they call it "Flexicurity"). In Bill O'Reilly's universe, this would lead to a situation where 10% of the population works their asses off while 90% are couch potatoes leeching off the "givers". Well, is that what happens? No. Denmark has an unemployment rate of 4.8%, much lower than in the US. Their all time high (8.2%) is very close to what the US has now. The next Hitler won't be coming out of Denmark... because they're too busy being happy, sitting back and enjoying an afterwork beer.

Another thing about systems like the one in Sweden with its socialism/capitalism hybrid is that the government can move fast when big paradigm shifts occur in the way society functions. Take broadband, for example. In the late 90's Sweden's government decided that fast internet should be a part of the infrastructure that you should be able to take just as granted as roads and railways, so they invested 10 billion SEK in rolling out a fiberoptic network across the land. It was done in a year (2000-2001). After the government built the skeleton, the private sector service providers took it from there and put meat on it, and 100 Mbps internet became ubiquitous in all urban areas around 2003. Sweden had the highest broadband penetration in the world until a couple of years ago when we were beat by Japan. Today I have 200 Mbps, and I'm paying $35/month.

You'd think that in the world capital of free market capitalism, USA, they'd be way way ahead of those pesky little socialist countries. After all, the US is where most of the technology comes from, so they should be decades ahead of everyone else, right? No. It wasn't until last year that Comcast rolled out 100 Mbps on a wide scale, and if you want it, it costs a whopping $105/month.
What's taking so long? Well, each provider has to invest in their own separate infrastructure, they have to negotiate with land owners, they're reluctant to take a big investment hit because of insatiable stockholders, blah blah blah. In short, lots of bureaucracy, the kind you'd normally associate with government. Meanwhile in big government Sweden -- boom, broadband, done.
Imagine where bandwidth-heavy services like Netflix and Pandora would be today if all American's would've had access to cheap 100 Mbps broadband 9 years ago. That would've been a good infrastructure project for Obama... New Deal II, 100 Mbps for all.
In your libertarian Utopia, rolling out broadband would probably have taken 25 years of negotiating with grumpy get-off-my-lawn land owners with shotguns, all wanting to put up 'toll booths' to get a piece of the action.

As the fictitious John Nash said in the movie A Beautiful Mind: "The best result comes when you do what's best for yourself AND the group." Not when everyone does what's best for himself, like in Ayn Rand's wet dreams. Not when everyone does what's best for the group, like in Karl Marx's wet dreams. The middle is where it's at. Balance.

Last edited by Anuba; Nov 11, 2012 at 01:25 PM.
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 02:17 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by skunk View Post
Run by the Government =/= Socialist.
A socialist society is one where social ownership has entirely replaced capitalism. Social ownership encompasses cooperative enterprises, common ownership, state ownership, and/or citizen ownership of equity.

The western European countries which in Michele Bachmann's deranged mind are "socialist" never went there by a long shot even at the peak of socialism. The labor parties in Europe advocated (and implemented) social democracy, which is all about universal social rights to attain public services such as: education, health care, workers' compensation, child care and care for the elderly. Everything else is capitalism territory and none of the government's business.

However, in places like the UK and Sweden, the government also had a monopoly on stuff like transportation, communication and public broadcasting. The national airline, telecommunication, railways, mines, TV and radio channels, all controlled by the government. But if you switched on the TV it wasn't some creepy North Korea-style propaganda, it was more like watching NBC without the commercials. Swedish TV aired all the big American shows. I got my daily dose of Sesame Street, Muppet Show, Soap and Space:1999, and sometimes stayed up late to watch Kojak and Baretta. The kids in true socialist states like East Germany and Yugoslavia had no such luck, they had to watch awful Russian puppet shows.
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