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  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcoll View Post
    See. That "outside the ranks" stuff. I have a similar ideology to the Koch brothers. I am not rich. And I am accused of supporting THEIR interests. But I don't view them as their interests. I view them as my interests because those are the policies I think are best for the country, and do the most good for the most people.
    Are "the most people" benefiting much from the policies you and the Koch's propose? Because the Kochs sure are profiting handsomely. In other words, it's patently obvious why they support these policies, it's pure self interest. What's not quite as clear to me is why their commoner followers do.

    The idea that if you are not rich, you can't support free market policies is ****ing stupid.
    If you feel you can afford to vote against your own interests, presuming you work for a living, and for those of the ultra-wealthy, go for it. It's my thesis that with our ever-shrinking share of this nation's wealth and an ever-shrinking share of this nation's income, the working class can no longer afford to work in favor of policies that demonstrably support the interests of the wealthy and powerful few at the cost of the rest of us.

    Let me add that "free market" is a BS catchphrase representing a reality of corporate subsidies, single-source contracts and tax-free earnings. It's an extremely misleading phrase in terms of its real-world applications.

    If the economy is going strong, those at the top are going to be doing very well. The last 30 years have seen some pretty good economic times. (until recently of course) Not too surprising that those at the very top would take advantage of that. I just don't see how that harms me in any way.

    Sure, I get a smaller piece. But I am not going to complain about getting a smaller piece of a much bigger pie.
    Isn't the mantra that a rising tide lifts all boats? If 2/3 of that tide is spent lifting 1% of the boats sky high while the rest remain nearly static, is that saying still true? I don't live to serve the interests of that 1% at the cost of the rest of us, and I think it's a bad idea if others do.

    Let me put it another way. In free market speak, what have the ultra-wealthy done over the past three decades that increased our GDP so massively? Were they responsible for 2/3 of the growth, and thus deserve 2/3 of the rewards? Or did they unfairly game the system, perverting the free market by manipulating our tax code, our regulations, and our political system in order to claim more than their fair share? Every multi-millionaire former Congressman who is now a lobbyist is a tic in the column voting for the latter. Every multi-millionaire former General who now works for a defense contractor lobbying his former aides is a tic in the latter column.

    Finally let me add for clarity that no one party is responsible for the state we're in. Both of the major parties contributed mightily to this situation, and we're structurally incapable off introducing a lasting third party (without replacing one of the original two).
    Last edited by Labgrownmangoat; 02-12-2011 at 04:09 PM.
    “We learn from history that we do not learn from history”
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  2. #17
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    Let me add that "free market" is a BS catchphrase representing a reality of corporate subsidies, single-source contracts and tax-free earnings. It's an extremely misleading phrase in terms of its real-world applications.
    No, what you describe has nothing to do with the free market. A corporation could not exist in a free market. You are so totally twisted around in what you think free markets are about that none of what you're saying makes any sense. I agree on most of your points about the wealth disparity in this country and how the middle and working classes are being eviscerated, but it is clear to me that the reason this has been happening is because of the political class marrying political powers with corporate interests, legally plundering the American people in the process. Don't worry about it though, the end of the state is near.

    EDIT: P.S., Democracy is an evil propaganda. Our elections have been nothing more than a slaves' suggestion box for which minority group should be stolen from next. The political parties are illusions of possibility for change, which gives us hope that if we vote the right way, we get what we want, when in reality, they just take turns screwing us over. This is what happens when people believe in mob rule instead of the rule of law protecting the rights of individuals.
    Last edited by TunTavern; 02-12-2011 at 05:08 PM.

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  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by TunTavern View Post
    No, what you describe has nothing to do with the free market. A corporation could not exist in a free market. You are so totally twisted around in what you think free markets are about that none of what you're saying makes any sense. I agree on most of your points about the wealth disparity in this country and how the middle and working classes are being eviscerated, but it is clear to me that the reason this has been happening is because of the political class marrying political powers with corporate interests, legally plundering the American people in the process. Don't worry about it though, the end of the state is near.
    Define "free market."

    I'm not calling you out -- the thread just needs a definition from everyone for the sake of clarity ...

  4. #19
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    If I misunderstood your comment, Philab, I apologize. Disregard what I said in response.
    Quote Originally Posted by LabGrownManGoat
    Are "the most people" benefiting much from the policies you and the Koch's propose?
    I am in favor of free markets and free trade. Historically those are the policies that lead to prosperity. The highest standards of living are found in countries that follow those ideas. The poorest people on the planet are found in the places that don't.

    We seem to have some overlap on policies that we think are problematic. (subsidies, tax loopholes, and corporate welfare) I am against all those things. My solution is to limit the power that government has over the market. What is yours?

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Labgrownmangoat View Post
    It is not a coincidence that the gap between the rich and the rest of us in the US is greater than it is even in Egypt. It's by design. Middle class and working class Americans who support this corporatocracy are simply being duped with idealistic talk that cloaks a largely successful class war against them.

    Our government is designed to protect average citizens from powerful forces in society. When it instead becomes the servant of those very forces it betrays its purpose and betrays us as citizens.

    *edit -- source.
    Good thread. I felt like this for a long time. I don't think alot of posters here understand this at the gut level. We are being played by the politicans and corporation while being sended down the river. We are more pissed with drug addicts on welfare then rich corporation getting government aid or banker and wall street conning america into a recession. We jail muggers of little old ladies and give free passes to people who mugged america.

    Unfortantly more people have to hit rock bottom before this will change, but by then it will be to late. We prefer the dream and then the harsh realities we are being played. Every seen the video of the girl, who was so busy texting she fall into the foundation? So into her own world that she ignore the dangers around her.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by philab View Post
    Define "free market."

    I'm not calling you out -- the thread just needs a definition from everyone for the sake of clarity ...
    "A free market is a market without economic intervention and regulation by government except to regulate against force or fraud."

    "Any market in which trade is unregulated; an economic system free from government intervention."

    We do not live in a free market. Our government has institutionalized force and fraud to steal all of our money and created something called a corporation whereby the people engaging in the theft are protected from any legal liability that might dissuade them from engaging in such activities in the first place.

    We really do live in a corporatist nation, just as labgrownmangoat has described, but I think many have fallen into the state's propaganda trap of believing that allegedly unregulated markets are to blame, when in reality, it is the perverted machinations of government that enable theft to take place. It is extraordinary that people then think we need more government to solve this problem because they think that government and corporations are separate interests, when in reality they are the same thing. So people, unknowingly, advocate for more corporate violence against themselves when they support more government power in the market. I don't see how someone like labgrownmangoat can identify how the corporations and government are working in concert to rob us all - entities designed to eliminate free market interests - and then say that free markets are to blame.

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  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcoll View Post
    If I misunderstood your comment, Philab, I apologize. Disregard what I said in response.

    I am in favor of free markets and free trade. Historically those are the policies that lead to prosperity. The highest standards of living are found in countries that follow those ideas. The poorest people on the planet are found in the places that don't.

    We seem to have some overlap on policies that we think are problematic. (subsidies, tax loopholes, and corporate welfare) I am against all those things. My solution is to limit the power that government has over the market. What is yours?
    Your solution is to get government out of economics, basically. Unfortunately that's impossible, unless you'd like to get rid of things like corporations (as TunTavern suggests). My solution is to get the influence of money out of politics. If government involvement in the marketplace is even-handed and in the majority interest, I see nothing wrong with it. In fact, that is the way the "free market and free trade" eras you are talking about largely worked.

    The places in this world with the strongest populations in terms of both health and wealth are those with significant government involvement in the marketplace. Take Germany as an example, or any number of other European countries.

    There are basically only two groups powerful enough to make major change in a society like ours. Government is one, and business/corporations are the other. The latter is ruled by a mantra that says "earn money at all costs", and is legally bound to follow it. The former is, hopefully, there to mitigate the sociopathic side-effects of that single-minded focus. If the two are too closely aligned, the people have no protection against the relentless and conscienceless pursuit of wealth built into the corporate form.

    Corporations can and will wreck the place where you live to make money. They can and will wreck your health. They can and will drain your community of resources that could be spent on education, on police, on your roads. And they will do it because they're legally bound to do so by their charters and their fiduciary duty. If corporations were human beings, they'd be king-sized a-holes and sociopaths, albeit very wealthy ones. Without some outside force mitigating their behavior, they run amok. Long-sighted corporate managers have realized this, and realized that mitigation also decreases their profits. Thus they have very successfully co-opted the only group out there that can help control them, government.

    Some further reading on the end state of a situation like this can be found here.
    “We learn from history that we do not learn from history”
    ― Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by TunTavern View Post
    "A free market is a market without economic intervention and regulation by government except to regulate against force or fraud."

    "Any market in which trade is unregulated; an economic system free from government intervention."

    We do not live in a free market. Our government has institutionalized force and fraud to steal all of our money and created something called a corporation whereby the people engaging in the theft are protected from any legal liability that might dissuade them from engaging in such activities in the first place.

    We really do live in a corporatist nation, just as labgrownmangoat has described, but I think many have fallen into the state's propaganda trap of believing that allegedly unregulated markets are to blame, when in reality, it is the perverted machinations of government that enable theft to take place. It is extraordinary that people then think we need more government to solve this problem because they think that government and corporations are separate interests, when in reality they are the same thing. So people, unknowingly, advocate for more corporate violence against themselves when they support more government power in the market. I don't see how someone like labgrownmangoat can identify how the corporations and government are working in concert to rob us all - entities designed to eliminate free market interests - and then say that free markets are to blame.
    Where and when did this "free market" utopia ever exist? And why did it ever go away, given that it's the greatest thing since sliced bread?
    “We learn from history that we do not learn from history”
    ― Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Labgrownmangoat
    Your solution is to get government out of economics, basically.
    The word "limit" was important in my statement.

    Quote Originally Posted by Labgrownmangoat
    If government involvement in the marketplace is even-handed and in the majority interest, I see nothing wrong with it.
    It won't be. It can't be. Business is smarter than government. All the people in charge of government do is win elections. They aren't the best and brightest.

    Basically, government has no ****ing clue what is in the "majority interest".

    Quote Originally Posted by Labgrownmangoat
    The places in this world with the strongest populations in terms of both health and wealth are those with significant government involvement in the marketplace.
    Like Haiti, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe.

    Germany has more government intervention than we do, but they are still relatively free market. On the Heritage Foundation's index of economic freedom they rank 23rd. Not too shabby. You may want to use France as your example, since they are more socialistic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Labgrownmangoat
    Where and when did this "free market" utopia ever exist? And why did it ever go away, given that it's the greatest thing since sliced bread?
    Just because there hasn't been a 100% pure free market system does not mean we don't know the effects of the free market, and free trade. We've seen their success over and over and over again.

    Most of human history has been under authoritarian rule. That doesn't mean it's the best system. As for why there isn't more support for free markets? It's easier to win elections, and political debates with "The government will make all of your lives better at absolutely no cost!!!"

    Look at the health care debate. The government has been heavily interfering in the health care market for 50 years. And health care is a mess. Who do they blame? Corporate greed!!! It's easy. It sells. The free market is a tougher sell. It's less intuitive.
    Last edited by gcoll; 02-13-2011 at 12:35 PM.

  10. #25
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    To be honest I dont think its straight forward.

    There are rich countries that arent economically as free and ones that are free and are rich and poor countries that are economically free and poor ones that are very not free.

    But:

    If your looking at the top 10 countries in terms of GDP per capita (besides Brunei-coudlnt find their economic freedom rating so did Austria instead at 11) all are top 30 in economic freedom. Most were in the top 10 there.


    Of the top 25 the only ones not in the top 35 in economic freedom are Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and France with the first two having huge income divides so I think France is more the exception that proves the rule

  11. #26
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  12. #27
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    I think this is more in the Egypt thread but yea its actually intersting (I hate Maddow normally)

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcoll View Post
    The word "limit" was important in my statement.
    We agree there should be limits. I suspect we differ on where.

    It won't be. It can't be. Business is smarter than government. All the people in charge of government do is win elections. They aren't the best and brightest.

    Basically, government has no ****ing clue what is in the "majority interest".
    Businesses couldn't possibly care less what is in the public interest. Without laws to prevent it, they would sell your kids into slavery, literally. You want to put them in charge of what's in the public interest? Really?


    Just because there hasn't been a 100% pure free market system does not mean we don't know the effects of the free market, and free trade. We've seen their success over and over and over again.
    My response was specifically to TunTavern's ultra-free-market ideas, and focused on his very idealized views.

    Look at the health care debate. The government has been heavily interfering in the health care market for 50 years. And health care is a mess. Who do they blame? Corporate greed!!! It's easy. It sells. The free market is a tougher sell. It's less intuitive.
    Our government "interferes" in our health insurance market less than almost any other civilized country. We also pay the most for the least results, while providing the greatest profits to private industry. Tell me again how government is the problem in the market?
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  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Labgrownmangoat
    Businesses couldn't possibly care less what is in the public interest. Without laws to prevent it, they would sell your kids into slavery, literally. You want to put them in charge of what's in the public interest? Really?
    There is nothing in my ideology that would allow selling anyone into slavery. Government has a role in protecting private property rights.

    There is nothing in my ideology that allows anyone to own anyone else.

    As far as business selling my children into slavery. I'm not sure which business would do that. Next time I'm in Subway I'll be sure to make sure they aren't trying to kidnap and sell anyone though. The view that business is a monolithic and evil force seems so incredibly immature to me.

    As far as who I want in charge of the "public interest"....it's not really about that. I want individuals pursuing their own interests. I do not trust business to know what is in the public's best interest. I do not trust government to know what is in the public's best interest. I trust the individual to know what is in his best interest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Labgrownmangoat
    Our government "interferes" in our health insurance market less than almost any other civilized country. We also pay the most for the least results, while providing the greatest profits to private industry. Tell me again how government is the problem in the market?
    Well, you've got subsidized health insurance, giant government programs (Medicare and Medicaid) distorting the market, and you've got them regulating the bejeezus out of both the health insurance market, and the health care provider market.

    Those things are going to have some impact. And you have a possible mandate to purchase health insurance on the horizon.

    So, I wouldn't say that they interfere less. They just interfere differently.
    Last edited by gcoll; 02-13-2011 at 03:55 PM.

  15. #30
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    The problem i have with environmental freedom is that there is no real way to assign private property rights to the air, and hence it will get ignored and trashed because there is no one with a vested interest in protecting it over profits. There is no profit in keeping the air clean, that is why people dont trust business with "regulating" themselves in this regard.
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