View Poll Results: Why do you still support our system of government?

Voters
44. You may not vote on this poll
  • Iím one of the 15% - 20% who think it is working properly.

    3 6.82%
  • Iím one of the 15% - 20% but think any problems can easily be fixed.

    2 4.55%
  • Iím among the 15% - 20% but think itís not the system itís the party running it.

    1 2.27%
  • Iím among the 80% - 85% but think itís not the system but the people running it.

    17 38.64%
  • Iím among the 80% - 85% but donít think there is anything we can do about it.

    3 6.82%
  • Iím among the 80% - 85% but donít think thereís enough support to reinvent it.

    7 15.91%
  • Iím among the 80% - 85% and am willing to act, just waiting for the right time.

    8 18.18%
  • Iím among the 80% - 85% but just donít give a crap.

    0 0%
  • Iím not American, and not that concernd about your mess.

    3 6.82%
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Thread: Why do you still support our system of government?

  1. #71
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    Re: Why do you still support our system of government?

    Part 2 of 2

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    No, the biggest problem with our current form of unrestricted representative democracy is a large, perhaps even majority, of the people have learned that they can vote themselves benefits and money from the taxes while passing those taxes onto others. What you mention is a problem, but not nearly as big as the self entitlement vote.
    Then why are they all still so poor? What? You can't actually vote yourself the public treasury? It doesn't work that way? Of course!

    As to your whole socialism thing. Yeah, right, we all will transform into Mother Theresa overnight and never ever do anything selfish again. Good luck with that. If you haven't noticed, we have a large number of Americans who chose not to work at all because they can live off the government and still have a level of wealth and standard of living greater than the majority of middle classes in most other countries. And that number is only as small as it is because in the 90's welfare reform was passed, otherwise we would be seeing even more of them.
    By "large number", you mean tiny tiny minority who would absolutely embrace a better option if one was available to them.

    No. Democracy needs to be limited to those who have shown to care and are willing to place the welfare of society above their own. A period of service in a way that is selfless and places the person in service at great risk with little to no chance of self profit. I.E. Military service, police and Firemen.
    But not social workers, adoption agencies, doctors and lawyers not working for exorbitant fees, or basically any profession that helps people without selling your services at a huge markup? Basically, that's the system Douglas proposed, one where everyone does that.

    Only those who have done such service for a specified amount of time should be allowed to vote or hold political office. Further, any seeking to hold a political office should be required to complete a professional training course and serve through a series of apprenticeship posts.
    Not trained lawyers? Who actually know how law works. Kinda difficult to have the job to change the law if you don't know what it actually says.

    The economy needs to be removed from government interference except to enforce rules of fair competition and minimum safety (a few others, but not spelling it all out here). The government should pass no law protecting existing business or any law that hinders the rise of competition.
    The two sentences you posit here are mutually exclusive. And further allowing business to concentrate power and wealth in the hands of a few owners is exactly what is digging us further into the ground.

    Quote Originally Posted by douglas View Post
    I'm not so naive that I don't think people will be lazy sacks of crap if they could afford it. I understand the power of an extrinsic incentive to get people to do the jobs that need to get done.
    No, most people won't. Human beings define ourselves by what we do. And doing nothing is a miserable and unfulfilling life. Almost everyone has more ambition than that, and only a tiny tiny minority would choose to do nothing if given a real choice.

    My problem is with how automation isn't used to replace work, it's used to replace workers. If automation continues at it's current rate, we will eventually have to just "create" jobs for the sole purpose of having consumers to buy what the machines make.
    Automation will eventually render labor obsolete. If we incorporate that technology into our current system, only the people who own the machines will have any wealth at all and everyone else will be broke. The system based on ownership cannot stand. Even now, there are a lot more people than there is work to do, and if you remove the entire industries that exist just to secure more wealth for the wealthy, maintaining a middle class existence for the whole nation would be easy. We just all put in a little bit of work, and all share the benefits. Almost everyone would do their part in such a system.

    All previous forms of communism/socialism have failed because they still had a leader class that decided how the wealth was distributed (and funny enough, they distributed it to themselves).
    Well, what do you expect when you give unbridled power to a small group of people? That has really nothing to do with communism or socialism. Any dictatorship, no matter what it calls itself, will do that. Dissemination of power is the key to stopping that, not a capitalist financial system.

    My proposal, essentially the Project Venus proposal, implies that we give all the powers of wealth distribution to a computer network.
    The system in the last story in I, Robot seemed to work well. The only trouble I see is protecting the computer from outside interference.

    The main points of failure are limited to having people fulfill the necessary roles of government and public workers. It's true that there does need to be some form of incentive, just due to human nature, but this incentive doesn't necessarily have to be wealth. I've always admired the "starship troopers" solution, of democracy and other "freedoms" for those who serve these social roles. The main issue is to stop rewarding automation as a path to personal wealth, but not deter it as a path to universal prosperity.
    Social pressure is more than enough to get almost everyone to contribute. That's how people feel now, even before the idea of contributing for the greater whole is enshrined in our social consciousness. The problem with the starship troopers model is that it's a fascist, military regime. Full citizenship should not require demonstrating a willingness to kill for the state. But it can certainly require a willingness to work for the benefit of the people. So, those few who refuse to work could be denied full citizenship. That creates the incentive you want just fine.

    I agreed with almost everything that DVSentinel said except a little on the last part; capitalistic business WILL continue after a shift towards socialist utopianism, since capitalism stems from basic human behavior and economic theory.
    There's nothing socialist about that, nor is capitalism a necessity of humanity. We are a cooperative species. We only fight each other from ignorance and fear. The idea that we have to one up our neighbors by owning things is absolutely not a part of human nature.

    The issue I have is with how this competition has always benefited the companies more than the consumers, and this competition is inherent to obtaining wealth. That kind of competition would have no meaning after a utopian shift, except for the same way that we find it on internet forums. To the best of my knowledge, nobody is being paid to post here, and yet we still have a mild competition to give better arguments, facts, proposals, etc. Personal industry would be limited to intellectual, artistic, and athletic ventures, and would be almost universally unpaid. I still believe that there will be human advances of every kind that stem from unpaid or grant based ventures, and that it will progress at a similar or even faster rate to what we have now.
    Agreed. People invent and discover new things because they want to, not because they're paid to. But in a system where you have to get paid to do something, monetizing such discoveries and inventions becomes part of the process.

    I still acknowledge that the vast, VAST majority of people will just stop doing anything, so there are legitimate flaws. But, the people that will do NOTHING are the same people who are just coasting through life right now; it's not like society is depending on them right now, anyway. The ultimate hope is that everyone will have the chance to figure life out, be productive or consumptive at their leisure, and promote a peaceful advance of humanity.
    Again, that is a tiny minority. A life entirely of leisure is actually very unpleasant. People like to have drive, to accomplish things, to feel like they're making a difference. Even if their survival were not linked to it, almost everyone would contribute.

    As a libertarian, I acknowledge that nobodies liberties are completely absolute, but I feel that modern capitalism is an infringement on our liberties; no force, physical or social, should be used to make people waste their lives needlessly on jobs that not only don't benefit them, but don't benefit society. (I'm talking about you McDonalds)
    Preach it! The idea that you're free because you can choose between the tedious, low-paying jobs offered by people with more power and money than you is nonsense. They have all the freedom, and you have a little bit. The same is true of the freedom to choose between Coke and Pepsi, which is what the market system does. The freedom belongs to the people who decide that those are your choices.

    Quote Originally Posted by douglas View Post
    I think a lot of people are supporting the government just to stay in the comfortable "now". Whether socialism is implemented in the next phase of humanity or not isn't really the question, it's going to happen eventually. The real issue is how long is the current ponzi scheme going to last? We can't keep printing money and expect every other country to just keep buying our debt. The debt bubble is going to bust someday, does anyone want to give me there guess? That knowledge would be appreciated; In line with my poll answer, I'm just waiting for the right moment...
    When it happens, I really prefer that it not be controlled by a small class of wealthy owners, but rather controlled through law and to the benefit of the people as a whole.

    Quote Originally Posted by German guy View Post
    Not sure if you're interested, but from an outside perspective, I'd propose a few very thorough reforms to make a generally very good system work again:

    - very strict anti-corruption and anti-lobbyism laws that prohibits "donations" and "sideline jobs" for elected representatives and other offices
    - abandoning private donations to political parties and instead provide them with public money in a size tied to their number of votes in the previous election
    - SC judges shall no longer be appointed by the respective President, but elected by a two/third majority of House and/or Congress (limiting partisanship of judges; professional expertize should count and respect for what the Constitution actually says)
    - breaking up the two-party monopoly on politics by abandoning the majority-system in favor of proportional representation (a party that wins X% of the votes gets X% of the seats) and, i.e., a two-round election for Presidentials (all candidates from the primaries and third parties run in the first turn, and when none reaches 50% of the votes, there is a run-off between the two best from round one)

    These changes would be thorough, yet maintain the spirit and general idea of the republican system "of the people, by the people", checks and balances and Constitution, which are all very good ideas, IMO.
    I like the gist here. Keep the private money out. That is the biggest thing that needs to change. Return ownership of the government to the people, not to the wealthy. I also very much agree about breaking up the two party system. Instant runoff voting with ranked choices (which would be better, I think, than a two round election, because I think that would end up with the same two party result) and possibly a proportional system would allow other candidates to run successfully and break the partisan gridlock we have now.
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  2. #72
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    Re: Why do you still support our system of government?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    I don't know what "neoliberalism" is or what it has to do with your comment, but the rest of it is spot on. We sold our republic to aristocrats. That's what this country is becoming. A new aristocracy, ruled by the money and power of a super wealthy class. They have enormous private power that the public cannot check.
    From Wiki: "Neoliberalism is a form of Economic liberalism, advocates of which support economic liberalization, free trade and open markets, privatization, deregulation, and decreasing the size of the public sector while increasing the role of the private sector in modern society."

  3. #73
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    Re: Why do you still support our system of government?

    Quote Originally Posted by German guy View Post
    - SC judges shall no longer be appointed by the respective President, but elected by a two/third majority of House and/or Congress (limiting partisanship of judges; professional expertize should count and respect for what the Constitution actually says)
    51/100 Senators must approve all SC judges, it's not just an appointment by the President, though I believe he is the only one that can submit a nominee for that position.
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  4. #74
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    Re: Why do you still support our system of government?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    Then why are they all still so poor? What? You can't actually vote yourself the public treasury? It doesn't work that way? Of course!
    What poor are you talking about. The "poor" in this country have a higher standard of living than many "upper middle class" in Third World countries that make up the majority of human civilization.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    By "large number", you mean tiny tiny minority who would absolutely embrace a better option if one was available to them.
    Other options were made and have always been available. Oh, yeah, they would actually have to get off their asses and work for that.



    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    But not social workers, adoption agencies, doctors and lawyers not working for exorbitant fees, or basically any profession that helps people without selling your services at a huge markup? Basically, that's the system Douglas proposed, one where everyone does that.
    Nope. If you don't risk everything, then you get nothing.

    God created the earth and then created mankind upon it. He gave us his love, freewill, the earth, two hands, two feet and a brain. Since then, any and everything has been earned or created. Everything, but freewill and the Love of God, must be earned or be given by someone who has earned it. Liberty, and any so-called "right" has been earned by someone and if you have it, then you earned it yourself or someone gave it to you. Even whether a person lives has to be earned. No person has the "right" to force others to give up what they have earned and give to others whom have earned nothing of their own. If someone wants the right to vote, then they can go to war, risk their lives and earn it, because whether you want to accept it or not, someone has done it in the past and continues to do it for the "right" to vote to even exist. If you haven't put your own ass on the line, then someone did it for you. As someone who has done it, I am part owner of it and now I now choose to not give it anyone who hasn't damed well earned it for themselves.

    So, you and everyone else, if you want something other than your freewill and the Love of God, then get off you asses, do what is necessary, however undesirable, and earn it. Otherwise, God also created worms and buzzards to recycle you back into the earth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    Not trained lawyers? Who actually know how law works. Kinda difficult to have the job to change the law if you don't know what it actually says.

    Lawyers exist and make their living by the ambiguities of the law. Also, no, they are not trained in political history, sociology and several other fields that affect the management of human society. Government is just that, management of society, not just making laws.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    The two sentences you posit here are mutually exclusive. And further allowing business to concentrate power and wealth in the hands of a few owners is exactly what is digging us further into the ground.
    No, they are not. You may wish them to be, but, well, reality is not the creation of your wishes.

    The current concentration of power and wealth exist because forces within the government have reduced competition. If true competition had been maintained and the rise of new competition had not been suppressed, we would not now have such a concentration.
    Only a fool measures equality by results and not opportunities.

  5. #75
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    Re: Why do you still support our system of government?

    Quote Originally Posted by Northern Light View Post
    From Wiki: "Neoliberalism is a form of Economic liberalism, advocates of which support economic liberalization, free trade and open markets, privatization, deregulation, and decreasing the size of the public sector while increasing the role of the private sector in modern society."
    Well then yes, that is a problem. Though I'm not sure why it would be called that, as most liberals would disagree with a lot those points.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoSurveyor View Post
    51/100 Senators must approve all SC judges, it's not just an appointment by the President, though I believe he is the only one that can submit a nominee for that position.
    Indeed, requiring one branch to nominate and another to confirm is a good example of checks and balances. Just like the legislature making laws and the court being able to check those laws.

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    What poor are you talking about. The "poor" in this country have a higher standard of living than many "upper middle class" in Third World countries that make up the majority of human civilization.
    So? Why should that make a difference. We're not those countries. We're this one. Why does American exceptionalism suddenly disappear when it comes to feeding hungry people?

    Other options were made and have always been available. Oh, yeah, they would actually have to get off their asses and work for that.
    You do know that most recipients of welfare programs don't stay on them for more than a year, and almost none for more than two, right? And that most adults who receive food stamps (because more than half of food stamp recipients are children and the elderly) also work, right? The non-working, welfare-living underclass that scares right wingers so much doesn't actually exist.

    [quote]Nope. If you don't risk everything, then you get nothing.[quote]

    Because war is such a noble enterprise. We are not a fascist, military country. Or at least we shouldn't be.

    God created the earth and then created mankind upon it. He gave us his love, freewill, the earth, two hands, two feet and a brain. Since then, any and everything has been earned or created. Everything, but freewill and the Love of God, must be earned or be given by someone who has earned it. Liberty, and any so-called "right" has been earned by someone and if you have it, then you earned it yourself or someone gave it to you. Even whether a person lives has to be earned. No person has the "right" to force others to give up what they have earned and give to others whom have earned nothing of their own. If someone wants the right to vote, then they can go to war, risk their lives and earn it, because whether you want to accept it or not, someone has done it in the past and continues to do it for the "right" to vote to even exist. If you haven't put your own ass on the line, then someone did it for you. As someone who has done it, I am part owner of it and now I now choose to not give it anyone who hasn't damed well earned it for themselves.
    Fairy tales are no basis for law. And war is a silly way to make policy when you can do it peacefully, through discussion and compromise. Please leave the 18th century and join the 21st.

    So, you and everyone else, if you want something other than your freewill and the Love of God, then get off you asses, do what is necessary, however undesirable, and earn it. Otherwise, God also created worms and buzzards to recycle you back into the earth.
    You really think that everyone who has power and wealth actually earned it or deserves it?

    Lawyers exist and make their living by the ambiguities of the law. Also, no, they are not trained in political history, sociology and several other fields that affect the management of human society. Government is just that, management of society, not just making laws.
    No, mostly we make our living representing people's interests in contract disputes, because one of the peculiarities of American law is that almost nothing happens automatically. And yes, we are trained in political history. But by all means, require that elected officials know sociology and economics, too.

    No, they are not. You may wish them to be, but, well, reality is not the creation of your wishes.
    You'd be surprised what my wishes can do.

    The current concentration of power and wealth exist because forces within the government have reduced competition. If true competition had been maintained and the rise of new competition had not been suppressed, we would not now have such a concentration.
    Whine whine free market blah blah. Ever stop to wonder why government would do this? On its own, why would our government care about competition? Why would it act to stop it? It has no interest in doing so unless pressured by someone with influence over it who wants to stop competition.
    Last edited by Paschendale; 07-13-13 at 06:22 PM.
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  6. #76
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    Re: Why do you still support our system of government?

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Adverse View Post
    But voting really has very little impact, since whatever we vote on has already been determined by those in power. For example, the further we get from local government the fewer candidates we actually have input in the pre-selection process. Instead, we are bound to select from those candidates who are presented to us by the two major political parties. Doesn't this mean we are merely shifting between the options of either major party when we vote? How does that change anything?
    And what options are they giving us? The ones we want? If not then why are we voting for them at all?

    What do you suppose would be the ultimate result of a Senate election where only 1% of the people who voted, voted for one of the two candidates in the race? You don't think both parties would take a good long look at that missing 99% and realize the potential to try to grab more votes? So many people sing the praises of capitalism yet seldom see the parallel in the political arena. To a politician, votes are no different than consumer dollars are to a business owner.


    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Adverse View Post
    Even in states where people can propose popular referedums, special interests can simply flood the ballots with options cleverly worded to sound positive, but actually run counter to what people really want. You'd need to be a wordsmith to fugre them out. Soooo, what exactly do you mean by taking more interest?
    It may take a wordsmith to understand it but there's no reason all the wordsmiths can't get the word out as to what's really being said. Here, the newspaper is pretty good at telling us us when something is worded oddly on the ballot, which sometimes happens not so much to mislead people as just the way the legislation worked itself out in the state house or city council or whatever. It's not that hard to tell what you're voting on if you've been paying attention. If you've been asleep at the wheel until election day then it's not so obvious. It all comes back to the People taking the time to make the system work.
    Last edited by MoSurveyor; 07-13-13 at 06:19 PM.
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  7. #77
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    Re: Why do you still support our system of government?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    Well then yes, that is a problem. Though I'm not sure why it would be called that, as most liberals would disagree with a lot those points.
    A liberal and a neoliberal are two totally different things.

    Both the GOP and Democrats contain many neoliberals, which is why it doesn't matter who is voted in now.

  8. #78
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    Re: Why do you still support our system of government?

    Quote Originally Posted by Northern Light View Post
    A liberal and a neoliberal are two totally different things.

    Both the GOP and Democrats contain many neoliberals, which is why it doesn't matter who is voted in now.
    Sounds like neo-anythings are a problem, given the damage that neoconservatives have done, too. The trouble is, what do you call the next wave? Neoneos?
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  9. #79
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    Re: Why do you still support our system of government?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    The problem with the starship troopers model is that it's a fascist, military regime. Full citizenship should not require demonstrating a willingness to kill for the state.
    You should perhaps try reading the book instead of relying on the movie. That was two of the things the liberal leaning producers intentionally screwed up and misled people on. You might remember that in the movie and book Citizenship gave you the right to vote. But in the movie, it was a Military Junta, in which case, what were you voting on?

    "...every voter and officeholder is a man who has demonstrated through voluntary and difficult service that he places the welfare of the group ahead of personal advantage." Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers

    You equate military service to willingness to kill. A willingness to kill is not a requirement for service. Many have served and been highly decorated but never carried a gun or killed a single person. Military service is centered around the willingness to place oneself between harm and the society with no expectation of personal gain and with Death possibly being the only thing received from that service. The dead get no benefit from their service, they can only give benefits to those they serve for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    We are a cooperative species. We only fight each other from ignorance and fear.
    No. Actually we are a semi-social predator species. We have and almost always have fought over control of/access to space and resources. While not a 100% analogy, the species closest to us in behavior is the Wolf.
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  10. #80
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    Re: Why do you still support our system of government?

    What else ya got?
    No matter how cynical I become toward politicians, it's never enough.

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