It's the people vs. the government, new poll suggests

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Thomas Veil, Jun 30, 2007.

  1. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #1
    This article says everything. Everything.

    CNN

    Were you struck, as I was, by how closely this poll mirrors the general opinion around here? I recognized the tenor of the PRSI forum several times while reading that article. I suppose I should be encouraged by that -- it tells me the American people have got their heads on straight. They realize who's screwing them, and how limited they are in what they can do about it.

    (Shrug) Doesn't solve a damn thing, but at least it makes me feel better knowing that most of us have a handle on exactly what the problem is.
     
  2. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

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    #2
    People are tired of lies and corruption and seeing more than ever how
    Congress protects the interests of corporate entities over the wishes of the people.

    People are sick and tired of being forced to choose from the less evil of two evils.

    We need to completely reform the process of legislation changing the
    way bills are accepted or declined.

    One issue, one vote, one answer yes or no.

    None of this taking the bad with the good every time a bill is passed.

    Once again, I hope that the people taking their time to post to these forums
    also take the time to write their representatives with well thought out suggestions for solutions.

    We spend a lot of time complaining about what's wrong without devoting
    equal time to brainstorming viable solutions.

    The divisiveness of the poltical arena always manages to divert our attention away from the root cause of our problems. Greed and lust for power.

    1% determining the fate of the rest.

    We are not powerless by any stretch of the imagination.

    We are simply too disorganized to have any impact on those who
    control our fate.
     
  3. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Absent a Supreme Head-Chopper On Top, any and all legislation will have some bad along with the good. That's people; human nature at work. That's the political process. Always has been; always will be.

    And any and all legislation will include some sort of compromise. That's what all people do, absent the SH-COT.

    My own rather cynical view (Well, actually, I'm not really cynical; I'm just observant. :D) is that a major problem with legislatures and the Congress is that they think they're supposed to pass a bunch of laws to do some sort of social good.

    Wrong. They oughta spend their time figuring out which laws to take off the books so we could better go on about our daily business without a bunch of busybody meddling and wasting of our hard-earned dollars.

    'Rat
     
  4. Agathon macrumors 6502a

    Agathon

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    #4
    Umm.... you mean that increased access to information has finally convinced most ordinary people of what radicals have known for years.. that the government doesn't really act in their interest, and that political institutions are set up to marginalize them.

    I'm not surprised at all. Some deep reform is required or there will eventually be a revolt.
     
  5. Thomas Veil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #5
    Well, lemme quote another Hightower saying: "There's nothin' in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos." In other words, compromise between two really crappy alternatives is not worth the effort -- might as well stand your ground.

    In my view, we've got several problems keeping us from doing anything positive.

    One is that Democrats are still too timid to act like true liberals. In my view, nothin' wrong with social programs. We had even more of them during the most prosperous period of our country's history, and they still seem to work well all over the world.

    The second problem is that there just aren't enough Democrats. Voters did what they could in 2006, but there weren't enough offices open to give the Dems even the majority they need to move bills to the floor for discussion. The poll, however, suggests that that could very well change in 2008. Voters still distrust the Republicans, and lacking a viable alternative, they'll elect more Democrats.

    The third is the conservative media that appeals to the weakest-minded Americans and fills their minds with anger and distortions. (See: Ann Coulter talking to Elizabeth Edwards this week.)

    The fourth is that we still have a right-wing majority on the Supreme Court, ready to tear apart stuff like McCain-Feingold.

    And finally: as the Mexican saying goes, money is a powerful gentleman. Even if we get a veto-proof majority of Democrats (or, alternatively, elect a Democratic president), corporate interests still have the final say in this country. And until we find a way to change that, Democrats will never be allowed to practice true liberalism, and will remain the lesser of two evils.
     
  6. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

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    #6
    sadly, too many people are apathetic and just don't care. they'll go on living how they do and pay no attention to politics and all that 'nonsense' to their lives.
     
  7. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #7
    'Tis true. The current crowd of Democrats in Congress -- with some few exceptions -- are a spineless, loathsome crowd of money-grubbing, power-hungry self aggrandizers; fat on the perks of office.

    But as bad as they are, the Republicans have proven themselves to be far, far worse.

    Their underlying philosophy says it all: Government is the problem, not the solution. When you believe that, is it any wonder that when you let them run government, government fails the people?
     
  8. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #8
    T.Veil, the problem with liberalism--or, as I prefer, "statism"--is that when government is brought to be "all things to all people", you wind up setting disparate interests at play. "Play" as in competition.

    Groups of whatever sort compete for either money or power that is derived from government. Special interests then lobby for their own interests, whether auto makers or environmentalists.

    It's all well and good to rail against "giant corporations", but corporations come into being as a result of public demand for products. The more successful corporations grow. Somebody then gets upset at one facet or another of perceived wrongdoing and lobbies government to "do something". That brings the corporate lobbyists into the arena...

    Pick your subject: There will always be competing interests. For many of them, government oughta stay away and not get involved in the squabble. I don't argue against the intent of much of proposed regulatory efforts so much as either the need or the result. Helmet and seat belt laws are a wondrous example of, "We're gonna make you safe if we have to put you in jail to do it."

    "No social problem is half so bad until there is a government program intended to deal with it."

    Whether the War on Iraq or the War on Poverty; the War on Drugs or the War for Healthcare: It all comes from some variant of Doing Good. The results never meet the expectations.

    The feds got into the education business in the 1960s and problems increased. In the 1980s it was the world of medicine and cost increases have far, far exceeded the inflation rate.

    A little bit of interference here, a little bit there--all in the name of doing good, mind you--and it adds up to a resentment of Guvmint Interference. And that leads to the viability of a Rush Limbaugh or an Ann Coulter as an attention getter. Action brings reaction.

    Later. Gotta free up Boss Lady's phone line...

    'Rat
     
  9. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

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    #9
    We're not talking about good things like product safety or help for the
    elderly and handicapped here.

    We're talking about government insiders allowing Big Oil to fleece
    the citizens along with Big Energy buying their way into legislation
    so they can continue poisoning the planet and Big Pharma and Big Medicine gouging sick people for over priced drugs, not to mention
    black budgets and trillions funneled to private military industrial contractors.

    Then you get into big bloated agencies like the CIA.

    In Northern VA alone, you have Langley HQ, 2 buildings off Westpark Drive near Tyson's Corner, 2 in Reston off Business Center Drive, 2 more off Sunrise Valley Drive and another on Grove Street in Herndon another in Crystal City, Why?
    Oh and then there's the new super not so secret anti-terrorism think tank
    also in McLean.

    You could also fit two football fields into the new DEA facility in Sterling VA.

    Homeland inSecurity is another mega office campus.

    All of this is fantastic for employment statistics, but talk about wasteful spending on Big Government.

    The utility bills alone of these facilities could solve major social problems
    paying for better education, medical care and help for the poor and elderly.

    The working class generates plenty of usable income to support these social programs, but all that money ends up being squandered away by those proclaiming to be looking out for our best interests.

    So really what we have here is people working for the government and their private contractors doing all they can to justify their existence.

    They deliberately allow a small handful of crazy criminals to create
    a perpetual enemy that will never cease to exist.

    Mission Accomplished!
     
  10. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #10
    Wait, you're arguing that this is a problem with liberalism? Have you been under a rock for the past 6 years? Not heard of "The K Street Project"? Missed the bridge to nowhere? Ignored news that the corporatists had managed to out-earmark every previous Congress? This is a systemic problem, inherent in a system where a Senator must raise something like a million bucks a week in order to be considered "electable". It is not a problem of one ideology or the other.

    The problem with conservatism -- or, as I prefer, "corporatism" -- is that because they feel government IS the problem, they go out of their way to prove that they're right.

    Case in point: Put a former racehorse official with no emergency management experience in charge of FEMA. Then, when a major disaster required FEMA to perform, it won't be able to because the guy in charge doesn't know what he's doing. QED, government doesn't work.
     
  11. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #11
    Actually, ironically, he was the only guy trying to do something before hand. Remember the video where he's warning them that Katrina could be bad? His boss didn't care, and he let it go, and therefor did drop the ball though, so you do have a point. And yes, trusting the gov to be run by people who want to dismantle the gov is obviously a bad idea, as we've seen, and as the populace now knows. Especially since we still didn't get fiscal conservatism with our social conservatism that most of us don't actually want based on recent polls.

    Never said Dems were good though, merely that they weren't worse than the neocons.
     
  12. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #12
    "Wait, you're arguing that this is a problem with liberalism? Have you been under a rock for the past 6 years?"

    'Scuse me; history did not begin six years ago. I'm talking about the last 40+ years. I was already voting and paying taxes when LBJ began his Great Society and War on Poverty. Where were you?

    For maybe the dozenth time on this forum: The stated goals of many of the liberals' social programs are, IMO, very worthwhile goals. My view is that way too many of these goals cannot be met, or cannot be met by government. In general, my problem is with the "how to", not the "what".

    Just one example: Aid For Dependent Children. This is one of the oldest of all federal program; it began in the 1930s. Eligibility is for a single mother; no husband or "man of the house". Now, as a helpful program, the idea is great. But an unintended consequence is that children wind up with no father as male role model--which for decades has been decried by psychologists as a Bad Thing. Another unintended consequence is that we have generations of single-mothers whose children are having children, and no viable way to excape this poverty trap.

    And I could go on about coroporate subsidies and agri-subsidies and a lot of other stuff that look good on paper but don't work out well in practice.

    The only real difference among liberal and conservative Statists is the arena in which they want to spend other folks' money.

    'Rat
     
  13. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #13
    And unfortunately the conservative answer is to sit back, do nothing and simply let people fall through the cracks.

    And don't even try to tell me that conservatives are pro-education either, as they love to put out there as their solution. That's a load of crap. They talk big and do nothing. Actions speak louder than words.
     
  14. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #14
    does it then follow that you propose a kind of social engineering solution, whereby the woman *must* find a man in order to function in this society? is that truly what you're implying?
     
  15. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #15
    'Rat, I don't disagree with your assessment that the "pay to play" system that we have set up is a disaster. I simply disagree with your assertion that it is strictly a problem on the left. You know, and I know, that is utter BS. Both parties are plenty capable of being bought by their respective interest groups.
     
  16. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #16
    No way do I want to imply exclusivity. My gripe is with the lack of thought given to side effects from good intentions.

    Another case: The US Rep from SW Georgia, Sanford Bishop, is a Democrat. Comes across as a good guy. We had to sorta "housebreak" him as to his constituency's views on gun control, but otherwise, an okay guy. Anyhow, I asked him one time why one couldn't get a job and lose only part of one's welfare benefits (rent/utility subsidy, etc.), rather than a dollar-for-dollar loss. After all, income from work is taxed; losing dollar for dollar is a dis-incentive for finding work. My general idea is that if you find work, you'd lose maybe 50¢ for every dollar earned--and you'd end up better off.

    His response was that he'd introduced legislation along the very line I'd suggested, but could not get co-sponsors; no interest. This was back around 1994 or thereabouts.

    Again, to me, this is a "how you do it" thing.

    zimv20, you're way out of line to imply that I'd go for some sort of "social engineering". I merely made a factual comment about some unforeseen consequences of an effort to do good. However, I note that AFDC is a form of social engineering; is there anything wrong in modifying it?

    'Rat
     
  17. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #17
    hm, didn't intend to be out of line. it wasn't an implication, it was a question of if that's what you meant. i asked because it seemed out of character.
     
  18. halfprep455 macrumors regular

    halfprep455

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    #18
    I personally hope this all time low will allow more independents and 3rd parties to become more active in the government. Im sick and tired of always having to choose between Democrats and Republicans. Both are just cooperate puppets. Neither of then give a damn about the people
     
  19. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #19
    Now I know you're a smart guy 'Rat, so you're either lying to me, or you don't know what exclusivity means. You say "the problem with liberalism" and then proceed to tell us about pay-to-play.

    And I'm pretty sure you know what exclusivity means. So you're either trying to pretend you never said something that you clearly did say, or you're out-and-out lying. Which is it?

    And please, let's not lay the lack of thought about side effects from good intentions at the feel of liberalism either. Stipulating that Bush had good intentions in Iraq, I fail to see how you can lay that charge at the feet of liberalism. You want to argue that neither side considers side effects? I'm open to that argument. But quit indicting liberalism for things both parties do.

    Try taking your ideological blinkers off now and then, eh?
     
  20. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #20
    mac, I think it's a reasonable generality to say that liberals are more active in introducing legislation on social matters. So, I'd think it's fair to say that where there are problems with unintended consequences, the liberals are more at fault in that particular arena.

    Staying with social legislation, look how most of it came from the efforts of FDR and LBJ. They, and the Congresses of the times, were Democrat, and in general were more liberal than the Republicans.

    I tend to harp on social stuff because that's where the majority of federal money is spent.

    Still, it's all come about as a result of public demand. We've elected the folks who passed the legislation and appropriated the money. "Democracy works until the people discover they can vote themselves largesse from the public coffers," from a 1797 comment. For sure, we've been voting for that largesse for quite a while, and we're pushing being broke on account of it.

    Conservative thought for the day: You can't spend your way into prosperity.

    By the way, I'm too lazy to lie. If ya lie, ya gotta remember what you said. :D I think some of the problem here is that we've grown up with somewhat different dictionaries...

    'Rat
     
  21. Thomas Veil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #21
    I grew up in the 1960s. During that era and the two decades before, the United States was at its peak in expanding social planning and spending. And the U.S. was never more powerful in the world, and its people never had better job security. By all accounts, the U.S. was prosperous and successful.

    Contrast that to everything from the 1970s on, when we've been trying to prosper by cutting back on everything. Result: job security is gone, real wages have dwindled, and we're on a never-ending downward spiral that involves making more money for the stockholders, not putting it in employees' pockets so they can go out and buy things. It's a sick, self-destructive attitude.

    Would a business agree that you can't spend your way into prosperity? Doubtful. "It takes money to make money." If a business spends money that way, it's an investment. But if government spends it that way, it's communism.
     
  22. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #22
    Maybe a corllary to this, but you can invest your way into prosperity. Not all investments are created equal: something like education pays dividends for decades beyond the initial investment, and some are the equivalent of setting money on fire, like the War on Drugs.

    Government can be useful and positive, and investments in infrastructure and education can be a boon for decades after the initial capital is spent. So-called "liberal" social programs can be important, but let's not forget that the current "conservatives" have been more interested in cashing check from the public coffers and letting the infrastructure rot than changing anything.
    I'd agree that Congress is often afflicted with "something must be done!" and I wouldn't mind a session of removing laws rather than creating new ones, but I can't help but balk at the suggestion that conservatives are better at governing especially considering the last 7 years.
     
  23. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #23
    Even if that was true, and it isn't, tell that to the conservatives. They've cut social programs, even ones that were working and/or were desperately needed, but still managed to increase the deficit exponentially. While continuing to spend on programs that don't work, like abstinence only.

    There is of course a 3rd option. Rather than cut spending on everything, or throwing money at things that don't work, maybe we can just get programs that work. Preferably that aren't bloated, bureaucratic nightmares. It might help by having someone in power who wasn't trying to prove how bad the gov is, but when you get people who hate the gov running it, what do you expect.
     
  24. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #24
    hulugu, solvs, overall you get no argument from me. But spending and investing aren't synonymous.

    I'm for investing in education, but any investment must bring some sort of useful return. Our present investments are indeed helping some, but how many articles must we read about those who graduate without being able to read a diploma? Can't read fractions on a ruler? Can't make change?

    Again, I reiterate my point about the "how" and not the "what".

    And I'll also repeat that I don't look at merely these last seven years. I became of legal voting age at 21, and that was 52 years ago come Friday.

    As far as picking on liberals and Democrats, have you read Ann Coulter's cites of Lott's latest research? :D:D:D

    'Rat
     
  25. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #25
    I try never to listen to Ann Coulter, because even when I agree with her I still think she's an awful person who focuses way too much on attacking, and not enough on substance. Or facts. But more of you should be criticizing your own the way the liberals do. Now that you've started though, it can come off as a little disingenuous considering the last few years of telling us all how wrong we were and how right your guys are.

    Especially people like Ann and their attacks of calling us all treasonous and unpatriotic for daring question them.
     

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