Why are Republicans Wrong about Everything?

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jghedge

climber
Feb 6, 2013 - 09:05am PT
"One thing they missed doing was limiting campaign contributions. Our whole supposed democratic system is now fundamentally undermined by the highest bidder. The whole foundation of getting into elected office is one thing only."

Except going by the last election, money not only had no positive effect as far as getting candidates elected, it seems to have had the opposite effect. Repubs spent hundreds of millions and got practically nothing in return. Gerrymandering districts worked for them in House races far better than the hundreds of millions they wasted (actually not wasted - those millions went straight into the broadcast trade unions for pensions, health benefits, and contributions to union-favored campaigns).
Gary

Social climber
Right outside of Delacroix
Feb 6, 2013 - 09:06am PT
Libertarians, here are your market forces at work:

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-bus-crash-20130205,0,7342183.story
rectorsquid

climber
Lake Tahoe
Feb 6, 2013 - 09:17am PT
One problem with the bus crash is that people, who could have taken some of their own responsibility and found out that the bus was not safe, relied on the government to protect them.

I'm not for a huge reductions in government oversight but people taking a bus and rock climbers both need to take some amount of responsibility for their own safety.

The same goes for any activity. If the government steps in then people turn off their own brains and expect 100% perfect safety. Reducing government might cause a few ill side effects but the people who are able to manage their own lives might be better off for it.

So what is the alternative, more taxes to do more bus inspections? The problem is that the government would then have some sort of mandate to make things perfectly safe and the cost of that enhanced safety is one of the down sides of our current 100% safety culture.

I'll bet that we could get rid of TSA and hire those screeners as bus inspectors and save a lot more lives.

Dave
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 6, 2013 - 09:26am PT
One problem with the bus crash is that people, who could have taken some of their own responsibility and found out that the bus was not safe, relied on the government to protect them.


WTF???

How are the people riding the Bus goig to know if the Bus or the Driver are safe?
There is no place to go that rates these things as safe or not.

we have to trust something, otherwise we would have pure chaos

When you buy a Bus Tour, you are buying trust that they will make the trip safe.
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Feb 6, 2013 - 09:38am PT
Except going by the last election, money not only had no positive effect as far as getting candidates elected, it seems to have had the opposite effect. Repubs spent hundreds of millions and got practically nothing in return. Gerrymandering districts worked for them in House races far better than the hundreds of millions they wasted (actually not wasted - those millions went straight into the broadcast trade unions for pensions, health benefits, and contributions to union-favored campaigns).

That is an improper conclusion. One might say that excess funds had surprisingly low affect on the margin but one cannot deny the need for some millions to even get in the door.

There is most likely an upper limit where money has less and less ability to determine the outcome between 2 candidates. I'm sure the influence curve is like most any performance curve where it flattens out at the top,

However it still stands as completely valid that one cannot enter the race with any legitimate chance of winning without several millions of corrupting bribes.. er donations.

Who MUST a politician serve first and foremoest.. or not piss off above all. The Donors come first in general and constituents later if it does not interfere.

Even for the most honorable politicians the concern for donations weighs too heavily on their mind. It is a built in severe true conflict of interest. One that does severe damage to the process of good governance for the people. For example both caucuses strongly advise their members to spend about half their time in office on FUNDRAISING!! Even if they are in secure unopposed seats.

We have become so accustomed to this that we simply do not consider it unusual or wrong. When it is probably the foundation of the problems we face. I suspect it is at least half the problem in politics today and why so little progress in all the important problems we debate is made.

Curt

climber
Gold Canyon, AZ
Feb 6, 2013 - 10:19am PT
Slavery was a fun LF Capitolist endeavour.

Lotsa folks got rich.. didn't hurt nuthin right?

Love that competition stuff.. its great till someone wins. And someone always does.

Monopoly is a fun game.

Pure laissez faire markets also have no prohibitions against bribery, market manipulation, insider trading, child labor, workplace environments filled with asbestos and other hazardous materials, abhorrent working conditions and hours, slave wages and any number of other nasty things that are undesirable in a civilized society.

Curt
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Feb 6, 2013 - 10:28am PT
Is anyone seriously proposing a United States government bereft of regulatory power? Enough of the straw man bashing.

The issue isn't regulatory power, it's stupid legislation, regulations and regulators (like Dodd-Frank, the regulations originating therefrom, and the CFPB), whose marginal costs greatly exceed any marginal benefit. All they do is allow the incumbents to allege that they've "done something" about a perceived problem.

John
Bharata

Mountain climber
Pune
Feb 6, 2013 - 10:46am PT
Congratulations and heartfelt thanks to our own United States government for having the courage to assassinate American citizens who have betrayed their own country to become the lowest of low life terrorists.

This is not torture which is of course abominable but instant justice.
Gary

Social climber
Right outside of Delacroix
Feb 6, 2013 - 10:50am PT
Is anyone seriously proposing a United States government bereft of regulatory power? Enough of the straw man bashing.

John, isn't that the Libertarian platform? Some of the GOP nominees ran on very Libertarian principles, no?
jghedge

climber
Feb 6, 2013 - 10:55am PT
"One problem with the bus crash is that people, who could have taken some of their own responsibility and found out that the bus was not safe, relied on the government to protect them."

Ridiculous. Who determines if the bus company is safe in the first place? The gov't.

Where are they going to find out if the bus company is safe?
TradEddie

Trad climber
Philadelphia, PA
Feb 6, 2013 - 10:56am PT
Except going by the last election, money not only had no positive effect as far as getting candidates elected, it seems to have had the opposite effect. Repubs spent hundreds of millions and got practically nothing in return.
But the Democrats spent much the same, and get to take their turn screwing up the country. It's not the spending that causes the problems, it may be the only kind of trickle-down economics that works.
The problem with campaign financing is the dependency of politicians from both sides on donations, large or small. Whether its the appearance or risk of corruption, the vast resources wasted in fundraising, or the disproportionate influence of rich individuals, corporations or trade unions, the end result is not democracy, its some form of capito-oligo-cracy.

TE
Dave Kos

Social climber
Temecula
Feb 6, 2013 - 10:58am PT
Is anyone seriously proposing a United States government bereft of regulatory power?

I've heard many a Ron Paul fanboy make this proposal.

I'm not certain they accurately reflected Ron Paul's positions, as I never really studied his platform in detail, but I know that a lot of his supporters seemed to believe that almost all government regulations were unnecessary.

And then there was Rick Perry, who was going to eliminate three regulatory agencies: Education, Commerce, and ... I can't remember the third one...

(Most likely he wanted to say EPA, which is a popular conservative villain.)
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 6, 2013 - 11:07am PT
If the Republicans are going to spend 1 billion dollars to win an election
The Dems Have to spend at least a half a billion dollars to stop them

Then Dems have always been for campaign finance regulations, but the Right Wingers gut them so their fascist partners can help them gain power

Vote All Republicans OUT, then we can have campaign finance regulations that Work for the people.
philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Feb 6, 2013 - 11:22am PT
Credit: philo
Oh look, there went Campaign Finance Reform down the drain.



A N D

Oh look Bookworm started another political thread.
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/2065403/New-Interior-Secretary

I think i will respond to it here where it belongs.

Obama could nominate Jesus Christ and the republicans would still crucify him.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Feb 6, 2013 - 11:33am PT
Is anyone seriously proposing a United States government bereft of regulatory power? Enough of the straw man bashing.

The issue isn't regulatory power, it's stupid legislation, regulations and regulators (like Dodd-Frank, the regulations originating therefrom, and the CFPB), whose marginal costs greatly exceed any marginal benefit. All they do is allow the incumbents to allege that they've "done something" about a perceived problem.

John

Yeah - we all agree! Kumbaya! Maybe even Nohea might agree with this.

So as far as the Dodds frank bill goes.... What was the objective and does it meet that objective? I'm not certain at all and thats why i'm asking.

The objective is the most important issue. I'm wondering if there really are people out there who don't think effective regulatory oversight of the financial industry should be enshrined as the precautionary principle that industry dances to the tune of, not the other way around.

Is there anyone out there who could emphatically disagree with the intent of the Dodd Frank bill and explain why against all historical evidence to the contrary?

What I'm getting at is even if it is flawed, what isn't. It exists at least and what exists can be improved on.

The alternative is that it would not exist, which certainly means there is no intent, and all you have to do is regress 10 years or so and repeat the cycle of bunk regulatory oversight and rule to understand the implications of that.

http://www.financierworldwide.com/article.php?id=7400


Incidentally, I really do think such people exist, I just wish they had the guts to say it loud and say it proud

graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
Feb 6, 2013 - 11:33am PT
Is anyone seriously proposing a United States government bereft of regulatory power?

John, many libertarians and some Republicans are seriously proposing that. Also, if you change that to "mostly bereft of regulatory power" there is even more "serious" support for that.
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Feb 6, 2013 - 12:18pm PT
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/06/world/middleeast/with-brennan-pick-a-light-on-drone-strikes-hazards.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Feb 6, 2013 - 12:50pm PT
Bruce,

My full critique of Dodd-Frank would probably nuke this thread (which would probably please certain people in the ST community). I've spent an awful lot of time advising clients on aspects of the law that are only a tiny fraction of the whole thing.

I have the full text of the statue on my credenza. It is a stack of paper 3.5 inches high -- and this is only the statute. The regulations will be orders of magnitude larger. For that reason, think of this critique as written in the spirit of Steve Roper's description of Son of Heart on El Capitan in Ascent, which went something like this: Climb to Heart Ledge, then from the top of the Heart, proceed upward a few thousand feet to the rim."

In summary, then:

1. The idea that the financial system was endangered because a very heavily regulated economic sector needs more regulation is not a priori obvious;

2. Many of us believe the housing bubble was strongly influenced by the behavior of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Mssrs. Dodd and Frank were two of the main defenders of those disastrous policies, and were great impediments to reform of them; and

3. Finding the current system imperfect does not make its alternative better. The Dodd-Frank legislation will generate a huge compliance cost in the industry but, IMO, does nothing to deal with the underlying cause of financial bubbles, not does it strengthen the financial system in dealing with those bubbles. Since the suit and S&P is in the news today, I'll focus on credit rating for the remainder of this diatribe, but there are hundreds, and probably thousands, of other topics upon which I could expound.

I don't think that anyone equipped with 20/20 hindsight can say the ratings agencies accurately assessed the risk of the subprime mortgage pools. Why, then, does the SEC and others require the use of the same ratings agencies (including S&P) to assess asset safety? How does this make any derivatives more safe or more transparent?

As an aside, why is the U.S. suing only S&P, when Moody's missed it, too? Is it, maybe, because S&P downgraded U.S. debt later but Moody's didn't?

Anyway, the provisions dealing with credit ratings of assets will do nothing to help stabilize the financial system, but they will add to the cost of any financial asset.

I'm sure there are plenty of discussions online by Dodd-Frank critics, and I'm reluctant to plow very deep now, because my own biases lead me to believe that the housing bubble had its origins in over-, not under-regulation. How is more regulation going to help, unless we assume the free lunch that the regulators will have the information and wisdom needed to prevent future meltdowns?

john
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 6, 2013 - 06:59pm PT
GOP Propaganda Is Working – Most Americans Now Fear The Government (VIDEOS)


2013/02/05
By Wendy Gittleson


Glenn Beck and Alex Jones might be hawking overpriced “survival seeds,” but you can be sure that the only seeds they are personally planting sprout a big, ugly strain of paranoia. That paranoia is growing – so much so that the majority of Americans now believe that the big, bad gubmint is out to take away their rights.


Please allow me to submit Exhibit One – Alex Jones on a five-hour freakout. You don’t have to watch the entire five hours. In fact, the first 15 seconds or so will give you an idea, but trust me, there are plenty of Americans who have listened to five hours.
see link


Or there’s this from Glenn Beck:
see link


Obviously, I could go on. There’s Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and who could forget the Tea Partiers…right there, destroying the government from within.

According to an irony-filled poll conducted by Pew Research, a full 53% of Americans believe that the government is out to take away their rights. 43% feel that the government is more benign. That is almost a direct reversal from 2003 (during the George W. Bush administration), when the numbers were 45% and 54%, respectively.


Here’s where the irony starts: Despite the GOP’s laser focus on eliminating women’s reproductive rights, men are more likely to feel that their rights will be stripped away.

Despite the fact that minorities are most likely to be wrongfully incarcerated, it’s white people who are most likely to fear for their freedom. Ditto for young people and older people.

Republicans fear the government more than Democrats. Gun owners more than non-gun owners.

Most significant though, was the partisan divide - which of course, goes back to Alex Jones and Glenn Beck.


The growing view that the federal government threatens personal rights and freedoms has been led by conservative Republicans. Currently 76% of conservative Republicans say that the federal government threatens their personal rights and freedoms and 54% describe the government as a “major” threat. Three years ago, 62% of conservative Republicans said the government was a threat to their freedom; 47% said it was a major threat.

By comparison, there has been little change in opinions among Democrats; 38% say the government poses a threat to personal rights and freedoms and just 16% view it as a major threat. [Source]

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/02/05/gop-propaganda-is-working-most-americans-now-fear-the-government-videos/
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Feb 6, 2013 - 07:04pm PT
Libertards are fond of quoting Eisenhower's famous speech, but they always skip this part.


The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded. Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.


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