View Poll Results: Would you support an amendment barring corporate and union money from elections?

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  • Yes

    66 37.50%
  • No

    110 62.50%
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Thread: Would you support an amendment barring corporate and union money from elections?

  1. #271
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    Re: Would you support an amendment barring corporate and union money from elections?

    Quote Originally Posted by misterman View Post
    Not really, but whatever.
    Please educate me about how PACs are not incorporated.

    Quote Originally Posted by misterman View Post
    Last time I checked there were no robots or corporate charters walking around the Capitol lobbying.
    And who said there were such things going on?

    Quote Originally Posted by misterman View Post
    And that means this is a proposal to take away some First Amendment rights. Which I find scary.
    One of the alternatives to restricting the rights of artificial persons is the scary mess we're in. Enough with the FUD

    Quote Originally Posted by misterman View Post
    Whatever. Too busy to vote? Don't blame someone else for that either.
    So, you think that the electorate shouldn't vote because we're so busy raising families, running businesses and working for a living?
    Rational Ignorance

    Quote Originally Posted by misterman View Post
    Why?
    As I pointed out earlier in this thread:
    Rational Ignorance
    Politicians exploit rational ignorance by conferring large benefits on certain constituents whose costs are widely dispersed and borne by the general population. Take the sugar industry. It pays the owners and workers to organize and tax themselves to raise money to lobby Congress for tariffs on foreign sugar. If they're successful, it means millions of dollars in higher profits and wages. Since they are relatively small in number the organization costs are small and the benefits are narrowly distributed.
    The U.S. General Accounting Office estimates that Americans pay between $1 and $2 billion a year in higher sugar prices. Forget about finding out and doing something about these costs. After all how many of us are willing to board a plane or train to Washington to try to unseat congressmen who made us pay $5 more for the sugar we bought last year? It's not worth it; it's cheaper just to pay the $5 and forget it. For workers and owners in the sugar industry it is worth it to descend on Washington to try to unseat congressmen who refuse to support restrictions on foreign sugar. It's worth $1 or $2 billion to them, and who do you think congressmen will listen to: your complaining about higher sugar prices or the sugar industry complaining about foreign imports keeping their prices, profit and wages down?
    You say, "What's the grief, Williams? Five dollars won't kill you." Washington is home to thousands of business and labor union lobbyists looking for a leg up here and a handout there. After a while $5 here and $4 there adds up to real money. According to some estimates, restrictions of one kind or another cost the average American family $5,000 to $6,000 a year in higher prices.
    .
    Quote Originally Posted by misterman View Post
    Because they do it on behalf of thousands of people. And they do it full-time. And they do it alot better - they know what to say and who to say it to and when to say it.
    There is a great disparity between the level of influence between individuals and the lobbying groups.

    Quote Originally Posted by misterman View Post
    For the purposes of this discussion, lobbying is nothing more than petitioning the government, i.e. it's not the same thing as making donations (which individuals ALSO do, but whatever).
    No, it's not the same thing for the purposes of this discussion. The two are intimately intertwined. Donations go to the parties iirc, which in turn are used for various purposes.
    I may be wrong.

  2. #272
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    Re: Would you support an amendment barring corporate and union money from elections?

    Quote Originally Posted by misterman View Post
    Yes, it all comes down to this - you think the rights of those you disagree with should be restricted simply because you don't agree with them.
    If that's what you think I am saying, then you have missed the whole point by a country mile. It's not about whether or not I agree with what's being said, it's about how the system rewards behavior which is bad for our country.

    Quote Originally Posted by misterman View Post
    Of course not, and I didn't say that. But it does all come from the sun, not from somewhere else.
    I was not trying to say that you said sunshine was food. I was just pointing out that just because something "ultimately" comes from somewhere it doesn't actually mean that its the same thing as being what it actually comes from as in the difference between money coming from individuals or from artificial persons.

    Quote Originally Posted by misterman View Post
    Would you actually say a political party has no right to lobby or speak?
    It's not about speech in general, it's about the right to lobby the govt instead of lobbying the electorate.

    Quote Originally Posted by misterman View Post
    How is the electorate "bypassed?" Last time I checked, you still had to win the most votes to win an election (unless you're George Bush in 2000 of course).
    re-posting yet again
    .
    Rational Ignorance
    Politicians exploit rational ignorance by conferring large benefits on certain constituents whose costs are widely dispersed and borne by the general population. Take the sugar industry. It pays the owners and workers to organize and tax themselves to raise money to lobby Congress for tariffs on foreign sugar. If they're successful, it means millions of dollars in higher profits and wages. Since they are relatively small in number the organization costs are small and the benefits are narrowly distributed.
    As a result of price supports and import restrictions, millions of American sugar consumers pay a few dollars more per year for the sugar we use. The U.S. General Accounting Office estimates that Americans pay between $1 and $2 billion a year in higher sugar prices. Forget about finding out and doing something about these costs. After all how many of us are willing to board a plane or train to Washington to try to unseat congressmen who made us pay $5 more for the sugar we bought last year? It's not worth it; it's cheaper just to pay the $5 and forget it. For workers and owners in the sugar industry it is worth it to descend on Washington to try to unseat congressmen who refuse to support restrictions on foreign sugar. It's worth $1 or $2 billion to them...
    You say, "What's the grief, Williams? Five dollars won't kill you." Washington is home to thousands of business and labor union lobbyists... According to some estimates, restrictions of one kind or another cost the average American family $5,000 to $6,000 a year in higher prices.
    .
    What's worse is that the system is set such that Congress is playing the lobbyists for more money by screwing with our tax code to keep these businesses guessing and lobbying. The two groups--the legislators and the lobbyists--are screwing the country for their own benefit.
    I may be wrong.

  3. #273
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    Re: Would you support an amendment barring corporate and union money from elections?

    Quote Originally Posted by misterman View Post
    How does money interfere with the ability of citizens to vote for their representatives?
    Well I thought I had put it badly but not actually in that place. You are questioning my saying

    The UK also has problems with contributions. If we are ever going to become any kind of real if representative democracies, then we have to do something about the bribes and lobby money given.
    It simply interferes with the honesty and integrity of those who represent us. It doesn't interfere with a person being able to put a cross on a piece of paper or not and it should be noted that voting is down in most Western countries - not a good sign of confidence in the system.

    You will not get representative democracy if the person you elect is receiving a back hander from someone else - that is obvious.
    George Monboit "Neoliberalism is inherently incompatible with democracy, as people will always rebel against the austerity and fiscal tyranny it prescribes. Something has to give, and it must be the people. This is the true road to serfdom: disinventing democracy on behalf of the elite."

  4. #274
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    Re: Would you support an amendment barring corporate and union money from elections?

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon W. Moon View Post
    Please educate me about how PACs are not incorporated.
    Most are simply sponsored by another group. You simply register with the Federal Election Commission. No need to incorporate in most cases.

    And who said there were such things going on?
    You said non-humans were lobbying. Just making the point that associations or humans are run by and for humans.

    One of the alternatives to restricting the rights of artificial persons is the scary mess we're in. Enough with the FUD
    I'd rather have a scary mess that we can fix if we just get off our asses and stop whining to an alternative like that.

    So, you think that the electorate shouldn't vote because we're so busy raising families, running businesses and working for a living?
    No. You?

    The U.S. General Accounting Office estimates that Americans pay between $1 and $2 billion a year in higher sugar prices. Forget about finding out and doing something about these costs. After all how many of us are willing to board a plane or train to Washington to try to unseat congressmen who made us pay $5 more for the sugar we bought last year? It's not worth it; it's cheaper just to pay the $5 and forget it.
    This is why lobbyists and associations exist. The people can send a few dollars to a group representing their interests, and combined, those groups can hire lobbyists, etc. and speak on their behalf.


    You say, "What's the grief, Williams? Five dollars won't kill you." Washington is home to thousands of business and labor union lobbyists looking for a leg up here and a handout there. After a while $5 here and $4 there adds up to real money. According to some estimates, restrictions of one kind or another cost the average American family $5,000 to $6,000 a year in higher prices.
    And associations that solicit consumers to join them and support them in fighting for them say the same thing to those consumers when the solicit them.

    There is a great disparity between the level of influence between individuals and the lobbying groups.
    Maybe, maybe not. Depends on the numbers. But an individual can support and be represented by a lobbying group too.

    No, it's not the same thing for the purposes of this discussion. The two are intimately intertwined. Donations go to the parties iirc, which in turn are used for various purposes.
    The point was that union and corporate treasuries are not a source of donations. That's all.
    "Yes I read the 9th [amendment]. It doesn't say **** about abortion." -Jamesrage

  5. #275
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    Re: Would you support an amendment barring corporate and union money from elections?

    for further edification:


    Pathologies of Democracy

    http://mason.gmu.edu/~atabarro/Patho...0Democracy.ppt
    I may be wrong.

  6. #276
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    Re: Would you support an amendment barring corporate and union money from elections?

    Quote Originally Posted by alexa View Post
    It simply interferes with the honesty and integrity of those who represent us.
    How exactly?

    You will not get representative democracy if the person you elect is receiving a back hander from someone else - that is obvious.
    Yes. So you get rid of him or her. Like you do when the rep isn't representing you for thousands of other possible reasons.
    "Yes I read the 9th [amendment]. It doesn't say **** about abortion." -Jamesrage

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    Re: Would you support an amendment barring corporate and union money from elections?

    Simon W. Moon
    I've read two of your posts on this subject. They are very salient, accurate, informative etc.; all goood stuff. But my simple point that you may have missed in this thread is the following. And quoting myself "I voted No for a practical reason. That is I don’t think such a law could be effectively enforced. Money moves so easily from person to person and place to place, that is the intent of money. So tracking it close to an election and enforcing a law in courts is not going to work."; and the only solution I see is "What we have to rely on are a sufficient number of educated voters that are resistant to dogma, advertising, and the ilk that they effectively decide elections." Do you have another solution that would work better? Thanks.
    Last edited by OhIsee.Then; 11-23-11 at 12:30 PM. Reason: reply didn't work as expected

  8. #278
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    Re: Would you support an amendment barring corporate and union money from elections?

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon W. Moon View Post
    If that's what you think I am saying, then you have missed the whole point by a country mile. It's not about whether or not I agree with what's being said, it's about how the system rewards behavior which is bad for our country.
    No, I'm saying that's what you're saying even if you don't know it.

    I was not trying to say that you said sunshine was food. I was just pointing out that just because something "ultimately" comes from somewhere it doesn't actually mean that its the same thing as being what it actually comes from as in the difference between money coming from individuals or from artificial persons.
    Yes, I know. And I was merely using your analogy to point out my point, which is that all sources of money for donations can be traced back to individuals, not other sources.

    It's not about speech in general, it's about the right to lobby the govt instead of lobbying the electorate.
    There's no practical difference between the two.
    "Yes I read the 9th [amendment]. It doesn't say **** about abortion." -Jamesrage

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    Re: Would you support an amendment barring corporate and union money from elections?

    Quote Originally Posted by misterman View Post
    How exactly?



    Yes. So you get rid of him or her. Like you do when the rep isn't representing you for thousands of other possible reasons.
    Both your replies are to my saying the same thing in different ways. Look at how we decided we had to go in order to get fair and free elections. We decided that as well as everyone having the vote, we also had to provide private voting to make sure the person was not bribed. Both the US and the UK and doubtless other countries as well are in need of finding a way to enforce this lack of bribery on their politicians as well.
    George Monboit "Neoliberalism is inherently incompatible with democracy, as people will always rebel against the austerity and fiscal tyranny it prescribes. Something has to give, and it must be the people. This is the true road to serfdom: disinventing democracy on behalf of the elite."

  10. #280
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    Re: Would you support an amendment barring corporate and union money from elections?

    Quote Originally Posted by alexa View Post
    Both your replies are to my saying the same thing in different ways. Look at how we decided we had to go in order to get fair and free elections. We decided that as well as everyone having the vote, we also had to provide private voting to make sure the person was not bribed. Both the US and the UK and doubtless other countries as well are in need of finding a way to enforce this lack of bribery on their politicians as well.
    Private voting makes it EASIER to bribe a voter. Think about it.

    In the U.S., all donations to candidates are publicly reported and easily accessed by anyone, by the way. And they are donations to the campaign - to support their election. Much like one would, say, volunteer to help with an election, because you want the candidate to win. Donations don't go in the politician's pockets for personal use - that's actual bribery and it is illegal.
    "Yes I read the 9th [amendment]. It doesn't say **** about abortion." -Jamesrage

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