Men's Clothing Forums banner
1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
431 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
"This election is going to be a game changer," an energized Clinton (D-N.Y.) said. "We have the opportunity to go beyond the failed policies of the last eight years. I hear a lot of talk about this election, people asking, 'Who are you for?' That's not right question. The right question is: 'Who is for you?' "



Seems a far cry from "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."

Does all of this shameless pandering bother anyone else? To be sure, both parties do it, but if politicians just continue to encourage people to vote for whoever gives them the most goodies that will only lead to the bankrupting and fragmentation of the country. I know this may sound like fantasy land, but should we aspire to more?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,551 Posts
I agree 100%, most people vote with their wallets. People look to who is going to give them the most and who is going to screw the people in the upper class. Personally I want to vote the issues and who best embodies the history of our country and will follow the ideals of the founding fathers. Personally I believe the best people to serve this country are Chuck Baldwin or Ron Paul. Unfortunately neither of them have a ghosts chance. I'm not encouraged by our two choices because it looks like more of the same government expansion, socialization, and tax hikes we have seen for a few presidents back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,004 Posts
The expression is "voting for a living." About half the population does it today. What kind of government do you expect this to produce?
The population of the United States is approximately 301,000,000. Just what is it that yoiu say about 150,000,000 souls did to produce an executive government as revolting...not revolutionary...as the one we have just endured for eight years?

Buzz
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,076 Posts
Does all of this shameless pandering bother anyone else? To be sure, both parties do it, but if politicians just continue to encourage people to vote for whoever gives them the most goodies that will only lead to the bankrupting and fragmentation of the country. I know this may sound like fantasy land, but should we aspire to more?
Isn't that the basis of democracy? Let everyone vote for whatever they like best (i.e. what benefits them the most) and somehow that should produce the best result for the people?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
431 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Isn't that the basis of democracy? Let everyone vote for whatever they like best (i.e. what benefits them the most) and somehow that should produce the best result for the people?
No. Basically what has happened is that the system has become so perverted over the last 80 years or so. Prior to the 1930s the average person received very little in government services- just basic things like national defense and public roads. Once the welfare state was created, and the government got into the business of transferring wealth, this process began. If people continue to act only on their selfish interests, as politicians seem to be encouraging them to do, all that will happen is further division. Put it this way, is it healthy for the country if 51% of the people vote to confiscate the wealth of the other 49% of the population?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,076 Posts
Put it this way, is it healthy for the country if 51% of the people vote to confiscate the wealth of the other 49% of the population?
Depends how you define healthy. It may produce the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest number of people.

You make it sound as only liberals think like this. Conservatives also try to buy your votes, not by promising increased services, but by promising decreased taxes. At the end of the day, you decide what is most lucrative for you based on your own circumstances... more services or less taxes.

It may well be that the very poor vote for increased services, as it serves their personal interests, and the very wealthy vote for decreased taxes, as it serves their personal interests. At the end of the day, people vote based on what they think will be best for them, and by extension society.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
431 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I prefaced my OP by saying both parties do it.

The kind of thinking you are advocating (groups essentially voting based on what the government promises to give them) has landed the US $9 trillion in debt.

The idea of the greatest good for the greatest people is not, at the end of the discussion, a good measure of the health of a society. Again, to take my -previous example to it's natural conclusion, why don't 51% of the population just get together and vote to wipe out the other 49% and seize their property? Wouldn't that create the greatest good for 51% of the people?

It would be better if people acted in their enlightened self interest, which is to say if they didn't vote purely out of a system of promised reward, but instead gave some thought to what is best for society as a whole. The current system is simply financially untenable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,076 Posts
I would not compare the party that promises to steal less from its voters, with the party that promises to steal more from other people to give to its voters.
So you admit both parties are premised in stealing from people?

Either party promises to the same thing... to protect the personal financial interests of their voters. In either case, there are some high-minded principles at play, but on a more base level, they are both appealing to peoples greed and desire to promote their self-interest. If I was incredibly wealthy, I'd be more interested in tax cuts, and if I was incredibly poor, I would be more interested in government assistance. I'm neither, so I'm on the fence.

-------

I'm reminded of an old story I once heard which illustrates this point nicely:

An English gentleman used to have a butler who was quite loyal to him. For many years this butler attended weekly communist party meetings, but thinking it not his business, his master never pryed into his affairs. Until one Friday night, the butler did not attend his weekly meeting, then another week, then another. Finally his master approached him "I don't mean to pry into your personal affairs, but may I ask why you no longer attend the communist party meetings?" His butler responded "The last week I was there, an economist came to speak and proved if Britain were communist, everyone would have £2000 of savings in the bank." To which the master replied "So?", "I have £3000 in the bank." :icon_smile:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,076 Posts
It would be better if people acted in their enlightened self interest, which is to say if they didn't vote purely out of a system of promised reward, but instead gave some thought to what is best for society as a whole. The current system is simply financially untenable.
You're probably right, but there are two problems with that.

1) Democracy doesn't involve any societal accountability, anyone can vote anyway they want for any reason, whether its for the greater good or not.
2) From what I've seen on the political debates, there are two very different and possibly irreconcilable visions of what is best for society as a whole in America today. Bridging that gap thus far has proven impossible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
431 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
You are missing some fundamental points.

First on the issue of taxes versus government spending. Sure, the wealthy tend to support lower taxes, the poor tend to support increased government spending on social services. Ok, well let's look at those basic positions.

Those that advocate increased spending are asking that the government confiscate someone else's money in the form of taxes and give it to them. Those that advocate lower taxes simply want to keep the money that they have earned through there hard work and ingenuity. Which is more selfish?

No, there is no societal accountability in voting. But shouldn't basic human decency compel people to occasionally do something to benefit someone other than themselves? Hobbes argued that the state of nature was the war of all against all. Government was introduced to bring human society out of the anarchy. Aren't these kinds of voting practices just hastening our return to an anarchic state of nature?

Yes, there are differences of opinion about the best way to order society. But if politicians simply pander to groups by promising them more and more government spending, it stifles economic growth and it eventually leads to societal bankruptcy. The US government is currently $9 trillion in debt (that's just what it admits to, the real figure is something like $25-35 trillion). At some point there will be a massive margin call. In order to finance all of this spending we increasingly have to rely on borrowing from other countries- the two biggest owners of US debt are Japan and China. If these countries decide that this is bad investment, and stop purchasing US it will produce dire economic circumstances for the US and the world. Eventually, you max out your credit card, and you have to pay the bill. If you were reaching your limit on your credit card, wouldn't it be irresponsible for you to continue spending money? Well, that's what the government does, politicians use this corrupt and broken system to buy votes through promises to the people and they are using the people's money to do it.
I don't see how it is morally defensible to continue the policy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,076 Posts
But shouldn't basic human decency compel people to occasionally do something to benefit someone other than themselves?
That's the basic idea behind the welfare state. Whether it achieves that goal or not is an judgment call.

government spending, it stifles economic growth and it eventually leads to societal bankruptcy.
I'm sure it can. There are basically two options to fix it, curb spending and pay down the debt or raise taxes and pay down the debt. I understand you're most interested in seeing government curb spending on social programs, but there's a large section of society that would disagree. At the end of the day, the argument is about what's "best" which is a very personal thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
431 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Every year for the last 30 the government has taken in record levels of revenue. Every year for the last 30 the government has spent more than it took in. Be realistic. No society has ever taxed it's way to prosperity. The US has the second highest corporate tax rate in the world. The only realistic way to reduce the debt is to cut spending.

We have not run at a surplus since 1969- and then only a surplus of $3 billion. In FY we spent $406 billion in just interest payments on the debt. So do the math, we have not run at a surplus in 39 years, and when we did it was $3 billion. So in order to come up with the money to pay off just the amount that we pay in interest each year we'd have to do something we haven't done in 40 years for 135 straight years. In order to pay off the entire debt we'd have to do it for centuries. But we can still afford wasteful spending in order for politicians to buy votes?
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top