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Thread: House libertarians blast USA Freedom Act

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    Re: House libertarians blast USA Freedom Act

    Quote Originally Posted by fmw View Post
    I think people pick and choose political concepts to like or dislike without looking at the entire ball of wax. A lot of things in "libertarianism" fail to impress me as well. But, for me, there is more to like than there is with the traditional political party platforms. I want smaller, cheaper, less intrusive, more competent and less corrupt government. Neither democrats nor republicans have any real interest in that. They only have an interest in having power at the expense of the other side. The rest is just details.

    I wasn't ticked off at the poster. I just think painting with a broad brush is poor debate. Thanks for you comments.
    Don't get me wrong - when I spent several years over on the Blogcritics blog, two of the people I respected the most were libertarian, and one of them was the head of the National Liberty Caucus. I honestly can't think of any friends I have outside my own household that are liberal - they're all strongly conservative. My friends and I get along very well - they poke fun at my liberal views, I poke fun at their conservative views, and we laugh and carry on with more important topics.

    That said, libertarianism simply does not work well in the modern world. If you want to live in a first-world democracy, then you have to be willing to pay the higher effective taxes, put up with the strong regulation, and accept the social safety nets that are part and parcel of a modern first-world democracy.

    On the other hand, if you spend a great deal of time in third-world nations, you come to realize what happens when the government has lower effective taxes, weak regulation, and little or no social safety net - all of which are part of libertarian and conservative thought. The country can still work, can still get along, and can still prosper to a significant extent, and for those who have money, life is great! BUT for the great majority of the people, life is hard...and they will never, ever have the general standard of living that we enjoy in first-world democracies.

    So you have to make your choice - do you want to live in a first-world democracy, or do you want to live in a third-world nation...because all first-world democracies have higher effective taxes, strong regulation, and a significant social safety net, whereas (with a few exceptions) all third-world nations have low effective taxes, weak regulation, and little or no safety net. Which is better?
    “To do evil, a human being must first of all believe that what he’s doing is good" - Solzhenitsyn

    "...with the terrorists, you have to take out their families." - Donald Trump

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    Re: House libertarians blast USA Freedom Act

    Quote Originally Posted by Glen Contrarian View Post
    Don't get me wrong - when I spent several years over on the Blogcritics blog, two of the people I respected the most were libertarian, and one of them was the head of the National Liberty Caucus. I honestly can't think of any friends I have outside my own household that are liberal - they're all strongly conservative. My friends and I get along very well - they poke fun at my liberal views, I poke fun at their conservative views, and we laugh and carry on with more important topics.

    That said, libertarianism simply does not work well in the modern world. If you want to live in a first-world democracy, then you have to be willing to pay the higher effective taxes, put up with the strong regulation, and accept the social safety nets that are part and parcel of a modern first-world democracy.

    On the other hand, if you spend a great deal of time in third-world nations, you come to realize what happens when the government has lower effective taxes, weak regulation, and little or no social safety net - all of which are part of libertarian and conservative thought. The country can still work, can still get along, and can still prosper to a significant extent, and for those who have money, life is great! BUT for the great majority of the people, life is hard...and they will never, ever have the general standard of living that we enjoy in first-world democracies.

    So you have to make your choice - do you want to live in a first-world democracy, or do you want to live in a third-world nation...because all first-world democracies have higher effective taxes, strong regulation, and a significant social safety net, whereas (with a few exceptions) all third-world nations have low effective taxes, weak regulation, and little or no safety net. Which is better?
    I don't think you have to make the choice at all. To me it is illogical to think that big government brings or represents wealth and power. Wealth is the country's economy, not its government. I don't believe that power is inherent in the definition of first world democracy either. Lots of small countries are very first world. Switzerland is one example.

    All wealth comes from business profits. Every single nickel of it. That is true in every economy, not just first world capitalistic ones. Government is a net spender of wealth. The less it spends, the less wealth is dissipated. The more wealth that is left in the private sector the more wealth is available to invest in creating more wealth.

    In my view bloated, expensive and corrupt government serves to harm "first worldness." It seems obvious to me that the U.S. has passed its peak in terms wealth and power. In my view that occurred in the 1950's. I don't want to write a book here about why I think this is the case. I just have seen steady decline since the 1950's all around me. That peak occurred when there was less government - a lot less government. Coincidence? Perhaps. But there is absolutely no question that growing government over the past 50 or 60 years hasn't made us any wealthier or more powerful.

    Conservatives like me prefer to put our bets on individuals rather than government. We prefer to have the government serve us rather than the reverse. The old timers like me prefer that because we have lived through the entire decline.

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    Re: House libertarians blast USA Freedom Act

    Quote Originally Posted by fmw View Post
    I don't think you have to make the choice at all. To me it is illogical to think that big government brings or represents wealth and power. Wealth is the country's economy, not its government. I don't believe that power is inherent in the definition of first world democracy either. Lots of small countries are very first world. Switzerland is one example.

    All wealth comes from business profits. Every single nickel of it. That is true in every economy, not just first world capitalistic ones. Government is a net spender of wealth. The less it spends, the less wealth is dissipated. The more wealth that is left in the private sector the more wealth is available to invest in creating more wealth.

    In my view bloated, expensive and corrupt government serves to harm "first worldness." It seems obvious to me that the U.S. has passed its peak in terms wealth and power. In my view that occurred in the 1950's. I don't want to write a book here about why I think this is the case. I just have seen steady decline since the 1950's all around me. That peak occurred when there was less government - a lot less government. Coincidence? Perhaps. But there is absolutely no question that growing government over the past 50 or 60 years hasn't made us any wealthier or more powerful.

    Conservatives like me prefer to put our bets on individuals rather than government. We prefer to have the government serve us rather than the reverse. The old timers like me prefer that because we have lived through the entire decline.
    Wonderful, wonderful rhetoric...but your rhetoric fails when compared to the actual state of the world, the actual numbers.

    What nations are on top? The very ones with the "big governments" that you are sure are doomed to the economic dustbin of history. Which nations are on the bottom? The very ones with the low effective taxes, weak regulations, and little or no social safety nets that are part and parcel of conservative economic dogma.

    In other words, you're arguing against success. The nations that operate the way you think is worst...are the nations that are succeeding best. The nations that operate with the factors you think is best...are the nations that aren't succeeding.

    You are arguing against success.

    When your rhetoric can explain this, come back and let me know. But if you can't, don't feel bad - I've pointed this out countless times to conservatives...and I've yet to hear a decent answer.
    “To do evil, a human being must first of all believe that what he’s doing is good" - Solzhenitsyn

    "...with the terrorists, you have to take out their families." - Donald Trump

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    Re: House libertarians blast USA Freedom Act

    Quote Originally Posted by Glen Contrarian View Post
    Wonderful, wonderful rhetoric...but your rhetoric fails when compared to the actual state of the world, the actual numbers.

    What nations are on top? The very ones with the "big governments" that you are sure are doomed to the economic dustbin of history. Which nations are on the bottom? The very ones with the low effective taxes, weak regulations, and little or no social safety nets that are part and parcel of conservative economic dogma.

    In other words, you're arguing against success. The nations that operate the way you think is worst...are the nations that are succeeding best. The nations that operate with the factors you think is best...are the nations that aren't succeeding.

    You are arguing against success.

    When your rhetoric can explain this, come back and let me know. But if you can't, don't feel bad - I've pointed this out countless times to conservatives...and I've yet to hear a decent answer.
    I don't accept any of that. I think successful countries have large governments because they can afford them. The governments don't contribute to the success, they are symptoms of it. My "rhetoric" is every bit as valid as yours. You offered no logical explanation of how the size of government contributes to wealth. Not surprising. There is no logical explanation for it. The explanation against it is quite logical.

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    Re: House libertarians blast USA Freedom Act

    Quote Originally Posted by fmw View Post
    I don't accept any of that. I think successful countries have large governments because they can afford them. The governments don't contribute to the success, they are symptoms of it. My "rhetoric" is every bit as valid as yours. You offered no logical explanation of how the size of government contributes to wealth. Not surprising. There is no logical explanation for it. The explanation against it is quite logical.
    Uh-uh. Remember, conservatives claim that higher taxes, stronger regulation, and significant safety nets are sure-fire ways to wind up in the economic dustbin of history...but that's not what's happened even though first-world democracies have had such for over half a century.

    What's more, in several cases, these are nations that built themselves up from utter devastation, like Germany (when they were West Germany), South Korea, and especially Japan. These nations went straight from being utterly devastated by war to having constitutions that mandated the social safety nets, and that allowed the governments to impose the higher taxes and stronger regulations. Germany, btw, has had universal health care since the 1890's...even through all its changes in government.

    What's happening with you, on the other hand, is since you can't explain it - and since you MUST NOT allow yourself to even THINK that maybe, just maybe this isn't all just coincidental to the point of incredulity - you're just throwing up your hands and saying "there's no logical explanation for it"...and then you claim the explanation against it is quite logical even though your oh-so-logical explanation against it DOES NOT EVEN COME CLOSE TO EXPLAINING why it is that all the most successful democracies on the planet have exactly what you say will lead to economic doom. Any argument that not only does not explain the results but instead would insist that the obvious results must be 180-out from what the obvious results are - no matter how logical the argument may sound - is wrong.

    But you're right about one thing - there can be no logical explanation for it...if you absolutely refuse to accept the ONLY (and glaringly obvious) logical explanation for it.
    “To do evil, a human being must first of all believe that what he’s doing is good" - Solzhenitsyn

    "...with the terrorists, you have to take out their families." - Donald Trump

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    Re: House libertarians blast USA Freedom Act

    Quote Originally Posted by Glen Contrarian View Post
    Uh-uh. Remember, conservatives claim that higher taxes, stronger regulation, and significant safety nets are sure-fire ways to wind up in the economic dustbin of history...but that's not what's happened even though first-world democracies have had such for over half a century.

    What's more, in several cases, these are nations that built themselves up from utter devastation, like Germany (when they were West Germany), South Korea, and especially Japan. These nations went straight from being utterly devastated by war to having constitutions that mandated the social safety nets, and that allowed the governments to impose the higher taxes and stronger regulations. Germany, btw, has had universal health care since the 1890's...even through all its changes in government.

    What's happening with you, on the other hand, is since you can't explain it - and since you MUST NOT allow yourself to even THINK that maybe, just maybe this isn't all just coincidental to the point of incredulity - you're just throwing up your hands and saying "there's no logical explanation for it"...and then you claim the explanation against it is quite logical even though your oh-so-logical explanation against it DOES NOT EVEN COME CLOSE TO EXPLAINING why it is that all the most successful democracies on the planet have exactly what you say will lead to economic doom. Any argument that not only does not explain the results but instead would insist that the obvious results must be 180-out from what the obvious results are - no matter how logical the argument may sound - is wrong.

    But you're right about one thing - there can be no logical explanation for it...if you absolutely refuse to accept the ONLY (and glaringly obvious) logical explanation for it.
    You're making some assumptions that aren't true. For me the most glaring one is assuming that the economic success came from large government rather than vice versa. Sorry, but there isn't any logical explanation for that position. If you choose to ignore the fact that all wealth is created by business profits, you simply don't explain how government creates profits. Since it doesn't create profits, it doesn't contribute to wealth creation. I explained that earlier. It is you who chose to ignore it. Government doesn't contribute to wealth creation. It never has - ever - anywhere. The wealthiest nations are the capitalistic ones. Why they decide to use so much money to fund a bloated government is beyond me but, apparently, that's what they do.

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    Re: House libertarians blast USA Freedom Act

    Quote Originally Posted by fmw View Post
    You're making some assumptions that aren't true. For me the most glaring one is assuming that the economic success came from large government rather than vice versa. Sorry, but there isn't any logical explanation for that position.
    Again, you're STARTING from the position that "there isn't any logical explanation". You're STARTING with the assumption that "this particular set of possibilities are unthinkable, so we will ignore them." Do you not see the illogic there?

    If you choose to ignore the fact that all wealth is created by business profits, you simply don't explain how government creates profits.
    No, not all wealth is created by business profits. That, sir, is yet another assumption on your part. There are several ways that wealth is created. One, of course, is by business profits. Another is by the perception of investors - there's a huge amount of money created in the stock markets of the world; it's not a zero-sum game and never was - because if our economy was a zero-sum game, we would not see boom times (or bubbles). And another way that wealth is created is by the government - yes, the GOVERNMENT. From an interview ("Does the Fed create money out of thin air?") on PBS of Paul Solman:

    The two main forms of money created by the U.S. government are currency — about a trillion dollar’s worth out there at the moment — and “Federal Reserves:” electronic blips on the books of financial institutions — mainly banks. The Fed does indeed create these so-called reserves “out of thin air,” as you put it, when it buys securities to increase the money supply.

    Since it doesn't create profits, it doesn't contribute to wealth creation. I explained that earlier.
    You were wrong then, and you are wrong now.

    It is you who chose to ignore it.
    Because you are STARTING with the assumption that possibility X cannot possibly work, and then you claim that there's no logical explanation for the economic results - the REALITY - that your economic theory says should be impossible.

    Government doesn't contribute to wealth creation. It never has - ever - anywhere.
    Wrong. You really should learn to stop STARTING from assumptions.

    The wealthiest nations are the capitalistic ones.
    YES! The wealthiest nations ARE the capitalistic ones - and (with the exception of China which is per capita about 1/4 as wealthy as America) they are ALL the ones with the higher effective taxes, strong regulation, and significant social safety nets that you think SHOULD drive a nation to the economic dustbin of history! Do you truly not see the glaring hole in your logic in that your logic DOES NOT EXPLAIN why it is that the nations with the economic structures you think are destructive to any economy????

    That hole in your logic is big enough to sail an oil tanker through, but you're STARTING with the assumption that you can't be wrong, that the fact that all the most successful first-world democracies are SOCIALIZED first-world democracies must be some kind of impossibly-unexplainable COINCIDENCE, and you cannot bring yourself to even consider just for the least moment that maybe, just maybe...it's NOT a coincidence.

    Why they decide to use so much money to fund a bloated government is beyond me but, apparently, that's what they do.
    Did you know that conservatives are honestly, truly right about something when it comes to taxes? All taxation - all taxation - is indeed wealth redistribution. Sure as heck is - and it's absolutely crucial to any nation's economy.

    Look, guy, every conservative out there will claim that he knows how to invest his money better than the government does - and of course you see it the same way. But I've got another challenge for you: can you tell me exactly how our tax dollars are wasted (except for that which goes outside our borders)? When the government collects taxes, do those taxes go *poof* and disappear into nothingness? And if not, then where do those tax dollars go? Trace the life cycle of, say, a million dollars in taxes, and show me where even one dollar of it is wasted...

    ...because I've been able to think of one way, and one way only (and it's something our government does very rarely). I'm sure there's more ways - and maybe you can edjimicate me on that - but...let's see what you can do with this challenge.
    “To do evil, a human being must first of all believe that what he’s doing is good" - Solzhenitsyn

    "...with the terrorists, you have to take out their families." - Donald Trump

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    Re: House libertarians blast USA Freedom Act

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    This thread and the story behind it is based on a LIE. There are no House Libertarians. The people named are Republicans and that is how they were elected and that is their party identification.
    libertarian (small "l") is a political philosophy. Libertarian (capital "L") is a political party.
    Don't be a grammar nazi - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 1 #7

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    Re: House libertarians blast USA Freedom Act

    It's sad watching haymarket derail this thread over want amounts to pointless semantics.

    This is why we can't have nice things.
    Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he stops voting for the Free Fish party.

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    Re: House libertarians blast USA Freedom Act

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaius46 View Post
    libertarian (small "l") is a political philosophy. Libertarian (capital "L") is a political party.
    There are no House LIBERTARIANS. Every single one of them declared their affiliation and none did so as a LIBERTARIAN. I have no doubt that some are also baseball fans, or fans of comedy or sci-fi movies, or detective novels, or countless other things that label one. But in electoral politics there is one declared affiliation that stands before all others - and that is the party label you run on. And none chose the LIBERTARIAN label.
    __________________________________________________ _
    There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.... John Rogers

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