Arena of Ideas

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by mcrain, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. mcrain, Nov 9, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2010

    mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Location:
    Illinois
    #1
    Someone suggested that we "vote" for ideas instead of party, and I initially dismissed that as nearly unworkable. We have a representative democracy for a reason.

    However, when someone suggested that there are similarities between the parties or there are differences, I'm struck by how confusing those "similarities" or "differences" really are. The news and pundits are constantly comparing liberal ideas to conservative philosophies.

    Pick an issue, any issue/problem. What do the Democrats or liberals want to do to deal with the problem? What do the Republicans or conservatives want to do to deal with the problem?

    Health Care.
    Social Security.
    Medicare.
    Military spending.
    Military engagements.
    Deficit and Debt.
    Job creation.
    Education.
    Environment.
    Trade deficits.

    I can tell you exactly what I would do on any one of those issues, and many more. I can tell you exactly what most of the elected democrats would do on most of those issues if given free reign. What I can not do it tell you exactly what the republican elected officials would do.

    I say this not to bash the right or their ideals/philosophy, but to express some frustration with the lack of specificity in ideas. I've been called many names because I agree with many of the ideas put forth by the democrats. Just because I support an idea does not mean I have a specific philosophy or ideal you attribute to that idea.

    What's funny is that I'm kind of liberal, but I'm also kind of conservative. I have some radical views, and some very mainstream views. In other words, I'm just a normal, average, every day American.

    What frustrates me is that right now, I see problems that we need to deal with. I see escalating health care costs that have been getting worse and worse for decades. Everyone knows and agrees that there is a problem. The liberals have suggested everything from UHC to single payor to the 1993 Republican Health Care Plan (aka Obamacare). Other than tort reform, buying across state lines and repeal, I don't know what republicans would do to deal with this particular problem. That same confusion goes for many issues.
    ---------
    Is keeping tax rates exactly where they have been for several years addressing an issue or will it cause anything to happen (in either direction)?

    "Letting the free market sort it out" is not a specific solution for problems that the free market is not sorting out.

    Privatization is great for specific tasks where profit motive can spur on innovation, but it is not a specific idea; and, isn't serving the interests of all Americans the purpose of government, and wouldn't it be bad to subject that purpose to a profit motive or the personal desires of individuals who happen to have more money than their neighbors?
    ----------------
    What I'm curious about, and would like to consider, are alternative ideas for dealing with our problems. I'm fairly familiar with the ideas from the left, and with the new "tea-party" influenced congress, I'm really curious about specific conservative ideas. They don't have to be proposed, just an alternative to what's proposed by the liberals.

    Idea vs. idea would be a nice change of pace.

    I'd love to hear conservative ideas from other liberal posters, but then again, I have no idea what ideas would be conservative anymore. Cap and trade and Obamacare were both conservative ideas, and now are not.

    Interesting reading: 2008 Republican Platorm

    (edit) Compare the level of detail that to what they have now. GOP On the issues

    (Why is GOP.com not the top (any) result under a google search of 2010 GOP Platform or 2010 Republican platform)?
     
  2. samiwas, Nov 9, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2010

    samiwas macrumors 65816

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #2
    McRain...your links are messed up. Oh, and they have wrong URLs too. :p

    * EDIT: You fixed them
     
  3. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #3
    Health Care - expand it for everyone, and therefore...
    Medicare. - abolish it.

    Social Security. - Safety net not lifestyle choice.

    Military spending. - Cut it. Ridiculous waste of money so old men can penis-wave.
    Military engagements. - Goes hand in hand with above.
    Deficit and Debt. - Balance the books. Stop old men from penis-waving.
    Job creation. - See education.
    Education. - Stop teaching by-the-numbers. Teach kids how to research, think around problems and find solutions. Get them motivated to create stuff.
    Environment. - Look after it. We can't just up sticks and move to Mars. Not yet anyway.
    Trade deficits. - See education.
     
  4. lewis82 macrumors 68000

    lewis82

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Totalitarian Republic of Northlandia
    #4
    This. Common sense. Yet, politicians seem to avoid it.
     
  5. Heilage macrumors 68030

    Heilage

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    #5
    Isn't that what would be called socialism over there?
     
  6. mcrain thread starter macrumors 68000

    mcrain

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Location:
    Illinois
    #6
    It certainly seems like ANY idea is considered socialism or marxism no matter how 'conservative' or logical it actually is.
     
  7. renewed macrumors 68040

    renewed

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Location:
    Bemalte Blumen duften nicht.
    #7
    I agree with everything here except for military. I honestly think we need a big military and that takes money. Could we bring some of our guys/gals home? Definitely. Could save some money but I'm not sure how big an impact it'd have fiscally without hurting us defensively.
     
  8. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #8
    Interesting concept, but micro-managing never works.

    I still feel that some method of recall, or outright rejection at the ballot, is the way to go for a healthy government.
     
  9. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #9
    Health Care - With Medicaid, the government is already as involved in it as I care to see it.
    Social Security - I don't believe it will be around, at least in its present form, by the time I'm old enough to benefit from it.
    Medicare - same as Social Security.
    Military spending - I like a strong military, but I'd like to see the money spent more efficiently.
    Military engagements - same as above
    Deficit and Debt - This should ebb and flow, not grow out of hand.
    Job creation - The private sector can do much more here than the government can, if the government will step back and let it happen.
    Education - People need to quit looking at it as an expenditure and start looking at it as an investment.
    Environment - We spend too much time, effort, and money focusing on the wrong ways to approach it.
    Trade deficits - Build affordable products that people want, and they will sell.
     
  10. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    Other than government involvement what's the other option?

    The status quo isn't an acceptable answer when the US spends twice as much as everyone else (per capita) without even covering everyone.
     
  11. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #11
    Then don't accept it. I don't give a ****.

    I have my opinion, you have yours - but I'm not gonna call yours "unacceptable."
     
  12. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Location:
    On tenterhooks
    #12
    You guys just don't "get it" yet, do you??

    The status quo is not working, and prospects for future breakthroughs are slim.

    But keep arguing amongst yourselves, if it gives you some solace.
     
  13. leekohler, Nov 9, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2010

    leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #13
    The status quo isn't working and is in fact, making things worse. Why would you insist we continue with it? This is something I will never understand, and is exactly why conservatives get a bad rap here. You can say what you don't want, but you offer no solutions to any problems.

    Then, when faced with the fact that what you are suggesting does not work, you simply say, "Well, it's my opinion". That's not OK. Opinions don't fix problems, nor does ignoring a problem.
     
  14. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #14
    If the current US system cost anywhere up to, say 8-9% of GDP then it would have a reasonable case as at least its cost would be comparable to UHC.

    Certainly if it cost 6% of GDP then it would have some merit.

    If it cost 6% of GDP and offered good service to those with insurance then there would be a pretty good conservative case for keeping it as is.


    Given that in reality even middle class people like Lee (and he's not exactly a pushover) are getting screwed over by it that makes the case far weaker - even if it cost 6% of GDP.

    Currently, though it costs 16% of GDP, which is more than every other country in the world. There's no defending that.
     
  15. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #15
    Our idiotic health care system has left me broke this year and came close to bankrupting me with my insurance company trying to deny my claims. What the hell do people without insurance do- lose everything?

    This system does NOT work. We have the rest of the civilized world to look to find something that does. Yet because of ridiculous, short-sighted, blind ideologues this is the crap we end up with. What has to happen? Does the whole thing have to come crashing down to get anything changed?
     
  16. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Republic of Ukistan
    #16
    Unless you think your country can really afford the grotesque inefficiency of letting public health be provided for private profit, you have to look at ways of making it affordable. The way things are going, insurance premiums are going to keep on skyrocketing, and either pay will have to skyrocket to keep pace, which means your goods will be less and less competitive globally, or more and more people will be left without cover, and you will be left with an even more dysfunctional society than you have at present. Your system is completely unsustainable.
    The actuaries say it will, but if the stock markets fail to rise as they have, your private provision will be worthless anyway. Can you guarantee your future?
    See above.
    You have no need to maintain 700+ overseas bases. Projection of power can be done much more cheaply. See "China".
    What does this mean? You want to start cheaper illegal wars? :confused:
    Far too late for that. It is out of control already. The interest payments alone could keep several countries afloat.
    See healthcare expenditure above.
    At last, some sense, but it is both.
    This is mere hand-waving. What do you propose?
    You will not be able to build affordable products in the USA. Everything will be outsourced, and then you will be truly screwed.
     
  17. BigQid, Nov 9, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2010

    BigQid macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    #17
    I would love it if you could pick someone to represent you issue by issue rather than by party or candidate. Too much of our politics is a game based on popularity and manipulation. It would be much trickier to deceive people who were accountable for doing 1 specific job at a time. I wouldn't even mind if people could represent me on multiple issues as long as districts could pick and chose who represents them on those issues.

    For the record:
    Health Care - add public option. Try to find ways to do simple things and frequent things very cheaply. How does Europe do it so much more cheaper than the US. I'm guessing we have put so much emphasis on R&D that we have made it actual care unaffordable.

    Social Security - raise the retirement age to 70 for those under 45 in 2010.

    Medicare - increase the tax that pays into it if needed and try to keep spending down.

    Military spending - Close 1/10 of international bases and cut spending by the same fraction. Cut spending on military aircraft and other weapons designed to go toe to toe with Russia back in the 80s in half.

    Military engagements - Get out of all wars. Only engage if attacked. Responses need some sense of proportionality.

    Deficit and Debt - increase taxes to Clinton era levels. Increase taxes on those making more than $500,000 beyond that. Make money paid to non-family employees tax deductible. Decrease imprisonment. Require 10% down on homes.

    Job creation - build roads, power, telecom, education. Every project should get green lit if until employment is down below 5%. If unemployment rises to 6.5%, more projects.

    Education - create core curriculum teams and have 5-10 teams taking the best lectures and lesson plans from teachers across the country to craft the most effective classes. Teach one way in class and let students look at the other teaching methods that cover the same subject. Each class should be a 60%+ national program, with the teacher being able to chose to use 40% of the time to do their own plans or all national classes, which would help out new teachers. Give scholarships for engineering, chemistry, education, computer science, biotech, and other majors that move the national agenda forward.

    Environment - cap and trade. Max out wind and solar production.

    Trade deficits - promote U.S. manufacturing. Stress quality. Try to make the best everything in the world. Create million dollar prizes for innovation. Let the dollar weaken.
     
  18. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Republic of Ukistan
    #18
    The first things to deal with are the gerrymandering ("re-districting") and campaign finance.
     
  19. Desertrat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2003
    Location:
    Terlingua, Texas
    #19
    Whether liberal or conservative, I know of nobody who's against folks having "Three hots and a cot": Food, clothing and shelter, and the means to acquire them.

    The arguments arise as to how this should happen. Conservatives tend to think these items are a personal responsibility. Tax-paid assistance should be limited to those who have physical/mental problems beyond their control. Any assistance to healthy folks should be temporary, as in the old safety-net concept.

    Me, personally, I'm wired up for the right to "...life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Right of pursuit carries no guarantee. Sorry about that.

    So that's why I don't see "health care" as a right. Sure, it's desirable, but I always got mine from paying for it myself. Sure, now that I'm old I get Medicare, but I didn't ask for it or vote for it and if it didn't exist I'd do the best I could to pay for whatever help I get. That was the whole idea of laying money by for my late years instead of hanging out at a bar or piddling my money away at a Starbuck's.

    You have the right to try and pay your own way through life. You don't have the right to force your friends and neighbors to pay for your problems via Big Nanny's taxation. (That's been tried, and Big Nanny's broke.)

    I live on the wrong side of a creek that will occasionally be impassable for a day or three from flooding. I was asked one time what I'd do in such a situation if I had a stroke or heart attack and no help could be had. Simple answer: "Die."

    I don't ask anybody to live a harsher life that I have had or still do. But I have a strong lack of sympathy for what I see as whining by the incompetent or a bunch of slobbering "compassion" for the incompetent.
     
  20. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Republic of Ukistan
    #20
    Hmm, I sense a slight disconnect here, don't you? You think "Tax-paid assistance should be limited to those who have physical/mental problems beyond their control", yet you "get Medicare", even though you believe "You don't have the right to force your friends and neighbors to pay for your problems via Big Nanny's taxation." Something does not add up.
     
  21. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #21
    I disagree. You and I may have had different experiences with health care and insurance, but my experience tells me that what I have right now works.

    The most basic requirements every person needs are food, clothing, and shelter. The government does not provide those things to all of its citizens - why should it be required to provide everyone with health insurance before meeting even these most basic and fundamental needs?

    No, when I expressed my opinion, I was basically told, "That isn't a valid option, try again." You can disagree with my opinion all you want, but to tell me to go back to the drawing board and come back with a different opinion because you don't like the one I gave you is asinine.
     
  22. mcrain thread starter macrumors 68000

    mcrain

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Location:
    Illinois
    #22
    No one has suggested that there aren't wonderful doctors, hospitals and health care providers in the US. In fact, the entire point is that there are people who are getting sick and/or dying due to their lack of health care, and it is costing the country and thus each of us a lot of money already. It is pretty universally accepted that the current cost of providing health care is costing the government and people more than any other government, and we are getting worse results. Republicans recognize the problem, as to democrats, libertarians, etc...

    Because there is a problem, and it is already costing a ton of money, maybe the problem isn't that you personally don't have insurance or a good doctor, but that the overall system is breaking under the weight of medical costs.

    I don't think the government should be required to provide health care or basic necessities, but I think that the government should provide those things. If not to everyone, to everyone who needs or wants them. Isn't common welfare the purpose of having a government?

    No one thinks your "opinion" is invalid. It just in no way addresses the problem, and that's probably because you don't seem to understand that there is a problem.
     
  23. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #23
    Well when insurance premiums are as high or higher than a lot of people pay in rent/mortgage, having affordable insurance goes a long way towards helping people fund their own food, clothing and shelter. I think healthcare is as fundamental as any other public service, such as police and fire department. They are there for when the fit hits the shan.

    A lot of people have put it better than I could with regard to the absurd costs of healthcare in the US so I won't reiterate that but I do always find one thing sadly ironic. For a country that speaks so loudly about "freedom" I sure see a lot of people trapped by the insurance problem. Needing to file bankruptcy on hospital bills; wondering how one is going to afford bills, food, etc with insurance premiums in the thousands per month; self-administered medical care because it's just too damn expensive to see a doctor; people getting married for the other partner's insurance; staying in bad marriages because of the insurance; staying in awful jobs instead of pursuing something better because they would lose that insurance, etc, etc, etc. That sure doesn't sound much like freedom to me.

    I think the lack of public healthcare is damaging the "American dream". Employers, insurance companies, hopsitals and their stockholders have everyone by the short and curlies and they bloody well know it and take full advantage of it. Just because it's not proved a problem for some doesn't mean it's okay.

    I've had the pleasure of experiencing both sides of private and social healthcare - an American with the best of medical coverage and also mediocre coverage. I've also had things fall apart and had very unfortunate experiences of knowing life with no insurance.
    I moved to the UK, with the National Health Service and while I admit (like any massive system) it has its shortcomings, I would never, ever trade the NHS system for what the US has going on now. In addition to the NHS, I also have private insurance (which, BTW, is a shockingly tiny fraction of the cost one pays in the US) and believe it or not it's actually an even sweeter spot to be in than the best insurance coverage I had in the US. So this socialized medical care is not as gloom and doom as a lot of republicans may like to imply.
     
  24. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #24
    Typical, as long as it works for you, screw everyone else. :rolleyes:

    Why should the government provide police and fire departments? Why should the government provide a military? Shouldn't we be able to handle all this ourselves?


    Because your opinion, quite frankly, is wrong.
     
  25. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Republic of Ukistan
    #25
    For you, maybe. That is an entirely irrelevant anecdotal observation in view of the national situation.

    Food, clothing and shelter are far more easily provided on an ad hoc basis and far more amenable to variations in personal requirements. Comprehensive healthcare requires a monumental infrastructure and pervasive support networks which are quite simply beyond the reach of many private individuals, especially as those most in need are often those least able to provide for themselves.
     

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