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  1. #46
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    The big problem is we are not a democracy. Never have been. The Founders never wanted one.

    We are a republic. That is a bit different than a democracy. In a democracy, the rule of law is the people. The majority of people can force their will on anyone in a democracy. Democracies are bad. They do not protect the rights of people. They are subject to the whims of people.

    Republics have a rule of law that is not subject to what the mass of people want changed. We have the Constitution that has certain liberties that are guaranteed. Those cannot be taken from us.

    Democracies are in reality a mess. A republic gives the people power in the government without the ability to follow a whim.

  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by utahjazzno12fan View Post
    The big problem is we are not a democracy. Never have been. The Founders never wanted one.

    We are a republic. That is a bit different than a democracy. In a democracy, the rule of law is the people. The majority of people can force their will on anyone in a democracy. Democracies are bad. They do not protect the rights of people. They are subject to the whims of people.

    Republics have a rule of law that is not subject to what the mass of people want changed. We have the Constitution that has certain liberties that are guaranteed. Those cannot be taken from us.

    Democracies are in reality a mess. A republic gives the people power in the government without the ability to follow a whim.

    I mentioned this before ebut no one picked up on it.

    Again, its the level of committment and awareness the public has in our system to live up to our responsibilities as citizens. Entities take as much power as we allow them to ahve, be they government, or otherwise. Government isn't evil. Corperations aren't evil, but if left unchecked, both would absorb as much in terms of property and protection as we let them have.

  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by utahjazzno12fan View Post
    The big problem is we are not a democracy. Never have been. The Founders never wanted one.

    We are a republic. That is a bit different than a democracy. In a democracy, the rule of law is the people. The majority of people can force their will on anyone in a democracy. Democracies are bad. They do not protect the rights of people. They are subject to the whims of people.

    Republics have a rule of law that is not subject to what the mass of people want changed. We have the Constitution that has certain liberties that are guaranteed. Those cannot be taken from us.

    Democracies are in reality a mess. A republic gives the people power in the government without the ability to follow a whim.
    This is a distinction without a difference. Herbert is obviously using "democracy" as shorthand for our form of government, as am I. Next objection?

    Moreover, tell the tens of thousands of Americans that the federal government and mega-corporation telecoms combined to illegally wiretap that their 4th Amendment rights against unreasonable searches "cannot be taken away." Tell US citizens like Jose Padilla who were held without charges for years at a time that their 6th Amendment rights against imprisonment without just cause, and to a speedy trial "cannot be taken away". Tell US citizen Anwar Al-Awlaki, who has been placed on a targeted assassination list without any kind of due process that his 5th/14th Amendment due process rights cannot be taken away from him.
    Last edited by Labgrownmangoat; 02-14-2011 at 12:14 PM.
    Labgrownmangoat has been feeling stabby as **** lately and is taking a few days off to rest, relax, and recharge. That means drinking, sexual triathlons, and a drug buffet. Oh, and maybe a hike or two on some godforsaken mountain. And forgetting for a while about border ****ery, Russia's ****ery, and the GOP's ****ery, as well as avoiding the cackling whores who will be joyously celebrating the possible gutting of the Affordable Care Act. -- paraphrase of Rude Pundit

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by utahjazzno12fan View Post
    The big problem is we are not a democracy. Never have been. The Founders never wanted one.

    We are a republic. That is a bit different than a democracy. In a democracy, the rule of law is the people. The majority of people can force their will on anyone in a democracy. Democracies are bad. They do not protect the rights of people. They are subject to the whims of people.

    Republics have a rule of law that is not subject to what the mass of people want changed. We have the Constitution that has certain liberties that are guaranteed. Those cannot be taken from us.

    Democracies are in reality a mess. A republic gives the people power in the government without the ability to follow a whim.
    That doesnt quite fit with the conservative definition of government. It sounds like that view of government acknowledges that we need to protect the people from themselves.
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  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Labgrownmangoat View Post
    This is a distinction without a difference. Herbert is obviously using "democracy" as shorthand for our form of government, as am I. Next objection?
    I don't object to any of the rest of your psot, but I do think people very frequenlty misconstrue our form of government for a straight democracy. I hear people say it all the time, so I think the point is a valid one, with significant impact.

    As for your other points, I have to agree. Our constitution ahs been violated repeatedly and to achieve different purposes. Can't argue with that.

    I also wanted to add, your points have made me give considerable thought to my own position on a few topics, and I wanted to conceded that I think you are right. Either the Constitution is the highest law of the land or it isn't, and we can;t pick and choose when we want to follow it. Just thought I would make that point publicly, and thank you for your insights.

  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Schmooze View Post
    Not too many people truly realize the power, and hold that corporations hold over not only our government, but governments around the world. Many are bred to call for less regulation, letting the "free market run wild", and following the notion of "trickle-down" economics. All of these have helped hurt us, and 30 years of these policies have produced scalable results. Meanwhile corporations are now protected under the Bill of Rights, and wealth has steadily gone from the majority of Americans to the top 1%.

    What PatsFan alluded to is what I also agree with, it all comes down to an informed and intelligent public, which our country as a whole sorely lacks. For instance, in 1984 50 corporations owned half of the media in the country, now it's down to 5. It may be different leanings, but its the same message. Our media is half entertainment, half buisness-friendly news. Some things are never reported in the U.S., and all media outlets fall in line once an administration wants to go to war as well, b/c many of the same corporations who own these stations make large amount of money when we go to war.

    We have become consumers, not citizens. On one hand we always have to make sacrifices(bailout the banks, have education and social programs cut), and are normally screwed by the people who are supposed to protect us.....but on the other we're programmed into "fashionable consumption", and waste our money on gadgets and gizmos that we don't need. A good portion of us are lazy, detached, and ignorant to the world. That's by design.

    It's also impossible to have a representative government when both parties are in the pocket of the corporation, are millionaires themselves, etc.

    I can go on forever, but b/c of these reasons and others, our democracy(republic) is truly in jeopardy.
    Corporations gaining the political rights of individuals is the greatest crime in this country's recent history. It defies everything this country was built on....well, what it was presented to have been built on anyway.

    It goes beyond media. We're down to 2 or 3 major companies in just about every industry (oil, dairy....research Monsanto and what they're doing to us and organic farmers). They control everything they can and when they can't, they change the rules so they have to gain control.

    It's funny that during the great depression wealthy Morgans, Rothchilds, Chase bought up all independent banks cheaply to get rid of competition. Then in the recent downturn they buy up the biggest independent bank Washington Mutual. Same patterns over and over.

    But like you said, and what my favorite human being of all time said "Nobody cares because everybody's got a cell phone that will scratch their balls and make pancakes". - George Carlin

  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Labgrownmangoat
    You will have to interact with large, organized entities and they will have power over you. The only question is whether you have any degree of control over those entities or not. We have some degree of direct control over the actions of governments and absolutely no direct control over the activities of corporations.
    I interact with large, organized entities every single day. Everyone does.

    As far as their "power over me". My interaction with these large, powerful entities is completely voluntary.

    Quote Originally Posted by Labgrownmangoat
    No individual can pursue their own interests in the face of opposition from a gigantic and powerful business. Try getting a procedure from your health insurance company they don't want to give you, and you'll see what I mean.
    If my health insurance is not to my liking, I can take my business elsewhere. If none of the companies deliver a product I want, then I can choose not to have health insurance.

    And, since I am willing to pay for health insurance, there is an incentive to deliver me the product I want.
    Quote Originally Posted by Labgrownmangoat
    Try getting the toxic waste dump you housing development was built on cleaned up on your own. Good luck with "your own interest". Try getting a safety standard at work that prevents your mine from collapsing, or you from inhaling asbestos, or your wife from having to give blowjobs to keep her job. Good luck with "your own interest". How are these problems solved by an individual without resort to government?
    The toxic waste dump would be an example of an externality. Pollution is an externality where I think government has a role. The actions of the company that put the toxic waste dump next to my house have harmed me, a third party who did not agree to anything.

    As far as safety standards. If the work is too dangerous, you don't have to work there. This is another example of competition in the marketplace serving the needs of those interested.

    With the blowjob example. I'm not sure that rewarding willingness to perform sexual favors, rather than merit is the most efficient way to run a business.
    Last edited by gcoll; 02-14-2011 at 06:48 PM.

  8. #53
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    This gcoll/lab conversation may be the best exchange in this forum in some time.

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patsfan56 View Post
    This gcoll/lab conversation may be the best exchange in this forum in some time.
    Is it just because of the blowjob discussion or is it the entirety of the discussion?
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  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcoll View Post
    If my health insurance is not to my liking, I can take my business elsewhere. If none of the companies deliver a product I want, then I can choose not to have health insurance.

    And, since I am willing to pay for health insurance, there is an incentive to deliver me the product I want.
    Ugh, you may want to move to a different example here. These general principles may support a free market argument ... but not for insurance.

    Insurance companies NEVER have an incentive to deliver the product you want. The have one incentive: to get you to pay for a product and never tender performance.

    All insurance is premised on shifting loss among the greater population. When you "buy" insurance, you're just paying to be included in that greater population. The insurance company most certainly does not ever want to pay for your loss. Even when you are injured, oftentimes the insurance company will scratch and claw before paying for your loss. If they can save a couple bucks -- even if they can delay payment for a few months -- then they make more money.

    The toxic waste dump would be an example of an externality. Pollution is an externality where I think government has a role. The actions of the company that put the toxic waste dump next to my house have harmed me, a third party who did not agree to anything.

    Insurance might be the worst example of the free market working that you could pick. The "winner" in the free market of insurance is the insurance company that is best at screwing over everyone. This is not me being cynical -- it's the absolute truth. Assuming the coverage is the same (most companies offer various coverages), the only deciding factor is price. And the price an insurance company offers is, in the long run, a direct consequence of its ability to minimize costs, or as already noted: to screw you over by withholding performance.


    Now, again, insurance (especially health insurance) in the U.S. has been ****ed from all sides. So I'm not trying to pin it all on the free market here. But it's also certainly not your best choice of an example of the free market working.

    As far as safety standards. If the work is too dangerous, you don't have to work there. This is another example of competition in the marketplace serving the needs of those interested.
    If the work is too dangerous, you don't have to work there. But what if you have to work somewhere and every place is too dangerous? I mean, we moved past this at the turn of the 20th century.

  11. #56
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    If a company behaves in that way, why do customers continue to purchase from them?

    And if that is just something inherent in the insurance market, why do we have an insurance market? Why do people even want it, why does it exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by philab
    If the work is too dangerous, you don't have to work there. But what if you have to work somewhere and every place is too dangerous? I mean, we moved past this at the turn of the 20th century.
    Well. We have safer working conditions in the United States today than we had at the turn of the 20th century, right?

    Now is that a consequence of natural advancement in the market, or a victory of government regulation?

  12. #57
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    You can lay some of the blame towards government, and i wouldnt argue you are wrong. But i believe that part of what is wrong with the health insurance market is that there is so much (i know i usually hate this word) uncertainty. When you buy a policy you never know exactly what you are going to need to get covered. I wonder how many policies cover a kidney transplant, how many policies cover anti-retrovirals, how many policies cover plasmapheresis? Unlike with something that you know exactly what you will get, like McDonalds, you dont walk in with the high level of uncertainty. If you get a policy that covers everything you will go broke, when you skimp on coverage you will go broke when you get a disease that isnt covered by your policy.
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  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcoll View Post
    If a company behaves in that way, why do customers continue to purchase from them?

    And if that is just something inherent in the insurance market, why do we have an insurance market? Why do people even want it, why does it exist?
    Well, it exists because someone came up with the idea.

    It persists by playing on the Nash equilibrium. It's utterly ridiculous on an individual level not to have certain types of insurance because you'll end up footing the entire bill when something goes awful. But that doesn't mean that insurance is, from a sort-of "cosmic overview", the ideal system.

    A whole bunch of people put money into a big pot. Then the big pot turns around and uses that money to do whatever is necessary to keep as much of the money for itself and give as little back out to the people as possible. If that sounds anything like the free market working properly, then I'm at a loss.

    Well. We have safer working conditions in the United States today than we had at the turn of the 20th century, right?

    Now is that a consequence of natural advancement in the market, or a victory of government regulation?
    A victory of government regulation.

    It's no coincidence that 7 of the 10 the richest people in the history of the world (one link; the report is everywhere) made their money during the Industrial Revolution, where safety regulations in the workplace were virtually nonexistent.

  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Labgrownmangoat View Post
    This is a distinction without a difference. Herbert is obviously using "democracy" as shorthand for our form of government, as am I. Next objection?

    Moreover, tell the tens of thousands of Americans that the federal government and mega-corporation telecoms combined to illegally wiretap that their 4th Amendment rights against unreasonable searches "cannot be taken away." Tell US citizens like Jose Padilla who were held without charges for years at a time that their 6th Amendment rights against imprisonment without just cause, and to a speedy trial "cannot be taken away". Tell US citizen Anwar Al-Awlaki, who has been placed on a targeted assassination list without any kind of due process that his 5th/14th Amendment due process rights cannot be taken away from him.
    But all of the stuff in the 2nd part is the government's fault. Not based on corporate interests were our rights violated in those case but by the governments efforts for public good/safety. With a smaller government mostly protecting constitutional rights and the private industry being larger those things dont happen. I find you just went against your whole point

  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbroncos78087 View Post
    Is it just because of the blowjob discussion or is it the entirety of the discussion?
    Its two guys mercilessly on opposing sides. When they meet up in a forum, its usually good for some good points, and sometimes, like in this case, a good laugh as well. a

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