View Poll Results: Was Grover Cleveland overall successful as president?

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Thread: Was Grover Cleveland generally successful as president or not?

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    Re: Was Grover Cleveland generally successful as president or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Technocratic View Post
    Why is that funny? The 1890s was the beginning of the era of Progressivism, and parties themselves are practical organizations of many diverse groups.
    I'm just noting that it's interesting that the party experienced such a large shift in such a short period of time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Technocratic View Post
    Parties change. Bryan wasn't really a progressive, though. HE was a Populist.
    How wasn't he a Progressive?
    Last edited by DrunkenAsparagus; 10-03-10 at 02:23 AM.
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    Re: Was Grover Cleveland generally successful as president or not?

    How wasn't he a Progressive?
    You may be right. I have actually never heard of him labelled a progressive. I was taught he was a member of the Populist movement more than anything. Progessives were a middle class urban political movement that came later. Populism was a western rural phenomenon focusd around farmer interests. If he was a progressive later, it must be overshadowed by his populist affiliations. Progressives didn't tend to be as big into farmer's issues and the free silver stuff.

    But you could be right. Thanks for making me aware.
    Last edited by Technocratic; 10-03-10 at 02:42 AM.

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    Re: Was Grover Cleveland generally successful as president or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Technocratic View Post
    You may be right. I have actually never heard of him labelled a progressive. I was taught he was a member of the Populist movement. Progessives were a middle class urban political movement. Populism was a western rural phenomenon. If he was a progressive later, it must be overshadowed by his populist positions.
    Progressive is broadly just anyone who generally favors reforms. The Populists were just another facet of the Progressive Movement.
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    Re: Was Grover Cleveland generally successful as president or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by DrunkenAsparagus View Post
    Progressive is broadly just anyone who generally favors reforms. The Populists were just another facet of the Progressive Movement.
    Well, if progressivism is just anyone who generally favour's reform, then wouldn't everyone be progressives? No one really thinks he's being regressive. They always claim it's reform. I think the actual Progressive movement had a very difficult membership and demographic, although Populists became Progressives and their views sometimes overlapped, yea. Populists tended to be poor rurals who were staunchy "anti elite and intellectual." But progressives weren't.
    Last edited by Technocratic; 10-03-10 at 02:49 AM.

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    Re: Was Grover Cleveland generally successful as president or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by DrunkenAsparagus View Post
    If race wasn't an issue in 19th century American politics, I'd probably be a pretty good Democrat.

    Kind of funny how a Progressive, Bryan, became the Democratic Presidential candidate only four years after a much more Classical Liberal Grover Cleveland ran.
    Interesting, though. Cleveland, in some circles, was seen as a reformer. He was a pretty active President, and took his "veto" role seriously, vetoing a lot of legislation. I think this just shows that, sometimes, comparing political parties or even ideologies from era to era doesn't necessarily work.
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    Re: Was Grover Cleveland generally successful as president or not?

    ONe think I like about Grover is his treatment of the veteran's affairs issue. There was a lot of legitimate corruption going on for years with false claims. The bills pumping out the money needed to be vetoed. His position on the illegitimate attempt to steal Hawaii was also honourable. I don't like at all how he handled the drought conditions in the west, though.
    Last edited by Technocratic; 10-03-10 at 02:51 AM.

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    Re: Was Grover Cleveland generally successful as president or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Technocratic View Post
    1. Theft isn't always necessarily unethical. That's an absolutist Kantian assumption. For example, he wouldn't be morally wrong, unless there was no social support mechanism with greater scope that could avoid the nasty systematic issues of vigilantee justice.
    Without resorting to insults and attacks, please respond to the point about a beggar and the convenient store. Since we live in such rugged individualistic, capitalist, unequal society where 95% of the wealth is controlled by the top 1% of the population (how’s that for reliable social support mechanisms???) then I suppose in this country, on this day, it woauld be totally moral (in your given worldview) for the common beggar to steal from the convenient store. The convenient store is probably owned by some rich guy who walked over people to get his wealth and the beggar was a poor victim who probably faced financial hardships (due to other people walking over him), racism, ageism, xenophobia, a family history of alcoholism and addiction, unfair job opportunities, etc. Therefore, how do you argue that we have the right kind of social support mechanisms and that the beggar is not justified in taking what he wants to survive?

    And theft in general of the government kind can yield benefits that outweigh the harms. Any proper ethic is a comparison of cost-benefit analysis, not silly absolute rules. The ethics of a problem rest in its consequences, not whether an action is of one type or another. One might say that allowing widespread vigilantee action such as this itself has negative consequences, thus requires punishment anyway, even if it were morally understandable in this specific instance. Likewise, government "theft" would have a justification as well, even if theft in general is wrong.
    Have you ever read about classical liberalism? Libertarians are large proponents of this broad philosophy and we do agree that government is necessary and does serve a purpose. Therefore, we understand that some sort of revenue must be generated to pay for the government. But we live by strict rules, because the unintended and real consequences of “progressivism,” “socialism,” “communitarianism,” “communism,” etc. are far more harmful than the unintended and real consequences of traditional capitalism and classical liberalism. For the ideologies named above, it appears to me that the underlying cause of most of these groups is to artificially make the world a happier, more joyous place by means of political and economic extortion. Of course, none of it is seen or is argued as extortionist, precisely because the most powerful men in the world are also the ones capable of defining what is extortion and what is a redistributive support system. The only people living in fantasyland are the ones that believe politicians are there to do only good, and that their daily speeches and campaigns across America are attempts to make the world a better place. Though I am not a fan of Ronald Reagan (I do work at the Library as an archivist), he was totally right when he said, “Politics is the second oldest profession and it bears a striking resemblance to the first.” Individuals need to understand that they are their own gatekeepers, and the handsome, eloquent man on television is telling them what they want to hear, not necessarily what is good for society. Government is there to maintain order and to ensure rights are protected, not to come up with a long list of materialistic rights that can only be partially fulfilled by taking away from and discouraging the most successful minority. Think of it this way. You admit that redistribution is necessary and perhaps even moral (those may not have been your exact words). However, how is it any different to take from the successful entrepreneurs to give to those at the bottom-rung than to take points away from the academically gifted and give it to those who have not earned it? Is it rational to give everyone an award and to reduce the entire system so that the least successful may gain benefits they did not rightfully earn? Rights are natural and are equal to all men and women, and for a list of rights, please check the constitution. Materialistic benefits are not rights, only the chance to pursue them (hence, the pursuit of happiness).

    2. Wealth redistribution isn't theft. That's an emotional term uses by Libertarians to poison the well. Theft is an legal construct. Taxation by definition isn't theft, because theft is the illegal removal of property. To claim taxes are theft, and therefore wrong, is nonsensical literally. You might as well say the DP is murder. It's not, because murder is a legal concept, and death penality doesn't meet the definition any more than taxes do.
    That’s an easy one. Of course, if it is “capital punishment” administered by the state, it automatically protected from accusations of murder. That is the underlying logic. You make it seem like I’m comparing apples to oranges here, and that if the state is doing the killing, it can no longer be considered murder. Tell that to the victims of brutal dictatorships.

    Taxes, as a means to maintain a limited government which protects our rights, is not theft. Taxes as a means to distribute largesse, to financially injure a targeted group, or to empower individuals at the highest level who may then use this redistributed wealth as a popular method to buy votes, is theft.

    Even if we assumed the sensible position that theft in most cases is morally wrong, and that taxes are unethical, your argument has practical applicative problems. It collapses into hypocrisy unless you advocate complete Anarchy, as you must assume the use of theft in your terms to make any system of government work. You, and all "taxes are immoral theft" proponents already are theives, because you actaully support theft, only for the particular hobby horses and sacred cows you support. So cut the bull**** here. You aren't fooling anyone. According to your theory, you are a theif arguing for selective theft. You are not really against government theft. Only theft for reasons you don't like! Not only do you support the crime you accuse others of, you are complicit in its maintenence.
    Talk about a straw man argument. There is a difference between a night watchman state and no state at all. I suggest you read and properly evaluate my philosophical foundation before you attack with harsh, unfounded criticisms.

    Private charity can easily be just as corrupt and inefficient and slow as government, not to mention entirely of inaequate volume to meet the need.
    Whoever said private charity is perfect? Of course it’s not perfect and there are inherent flaws. But comparing one to the other, I would totally disagree that government can do it better.

    It failed in the 19th century to make any significant impact, so there's little reason to assume it would do much else.
    You’re completely wrong. The most successful of these charitable organizations were developed right around the time period that you’ve just mentioned. The Red Cross, the Hull House, The American Cancer Society, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Carnegie Foundation. Others came way later, such as the WWF, the Gates Foundation, the PEW Center Charity Trusts, etc. These organizations do most of the charitable work in this country. What government may do is spend money on lousy infrastructure and call it charity (we give this man a job to build a bridge to nowhere), thereby greatly increasing the total amount government may spend on charity. Individual private citizens continue to donate, willingly, more of their own money versus the amount spent by government on public “charities.”

    Again, I brought up the reconstruction of S.F. and you failed to respond directly to it.

    Only government has the scope to alleviate any real problems.
    This statement perfectly illustrates the nice little package of a worldview that you possess. Government is your answer for everything, in this case? Is it about every case, since you failed to distinguish what sort of problems can be alleviated by the scope of government enforcement? If asked whether we should maximize individual liberty or maximize statist authority, would there be any doubt that you would succumb to the latter?

    Quote Originally Posted by earthworm View Post
    One excellent response!
    What would have Mr Cleveland done with the Gulf oil spill or Katrina, or the Oklahoma drought and dust bowl ?
    Again, the unseen rebuilders are not contractors on the public payroll, but private citizens. It is private citizens who will recreate a city after it becomes destroyed, and the federal government always manages to screw up heavily in this regard. Who leased the seabed where the deepwater drilling disaster took place? What entity was technically in control and with full ownership of that part of the sea? Which entity artificially capped the amount of liability facing a venture company? Where was FEMA during the aftermath of Katrina? Who rebuilt S.F. in 1906 after the deadliest quake and fire in our nation’s history? Who rebuilt Chicago after its greatest fire in 1871?

    Quote Originally Posted by Technocratic View Post
    Ahh, the difference is that I know what your ideology is. You don't know mine.
    Yea, because all you do is criticize the ideas of everyone else, while refusing to offer a substantial solution based on real principles and live examples. As my Grandmother always used to say, “if you don’t take a stand, you stand for nothing.” You’re not even a good Devil’s advocate.

    You should pause and self-reflect about Ayn Rand's philosophy Objectivism, and just where it comes from exactly. Objectivism is pretty close to Libertarianism ideologically given the Libertarian party is an offshoot of Objectivist thought.
    This is simply an association fallacy reliant on hasty generalizations and misconstrued ideas.

    Quote Originally Posted by Technocratic View Post
    Charity has a place, but it's seriously flawed, especially when it's most needed: hard economic times. Many great charities work better during strong economic periods and fail during economic recessions and collapses, when government supports Donations fell when they were most needed.

    Moreover, charity is random and sporatic, and charitable agencies lack the scope and infrastructure of government, which automatically makes them inferior for large scale, long-term issues.
    Most of what you assume to be true isn’t. However, as a small compromise, I will argue that local and state governments do have the justification, under the Bill of Rights, to interpret, legislate, and execute charity if certain regions or cities permitted such systems.
    Last edited by Mensch; 10-03-10 at 08:37 AM.

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    Re: Was Grover Cleveland generally successful as president or not?

    The only time redistribution (or theft as some like to call it) is justified is when it makes society work better, by whatever metric one wishes to use. In my case, it would be about ensuring opportunity for everyone, which I feel is more important than lower taxation. Ultimately, this helps ensure our society progresses forward into higher social and technological achievement more quickly, which is where even better freedoms can be found (for example, the invention of the airplane gave us the freedom of flight, better understanding of nutrition gives us better brains and healthier bodies which allows us to do more and be more satisfied, etc) for the greater satisfaction of all. However, we need to make sure our potential Einsteins have a chance to become what they are capable of for the betterment of all.

    Also there is a moral component to it, in which we reduce suffering where we are able, which again, I feel is more important than lower taxes, unless lower taxes can be shown to do the job better (for everyone). Private charities are good and should always be encouraged, but there is no guaranteed way to use them to ensure the results we need for society. This ensures that people can use the inventions we create to increase freedoms.

    Ultimately, we need a balance between private means (which generates wealth) and public means (which reduces suffering and makes society better (again, from my perspective)). To go totally one way or another is an avenue for harm and neglect.
    Last edited by tacomancer; 10-03-10 at 09:08 AM.

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    Re: Was Grover Cleveland generally successful as president or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by ElijahGalt View Post
    Without resorting to insults and attacks, please respond to the point about a beggar and the convenient store. Since we live in such rugged individualistic, capitalist, unequal society where 95% of the wealth is controlled by the top 1% of the population (how’s that for reliable social support mechanisms???) then I suppose in this country, on this day, it woauld be totally moral (in your given worldview) for the common beggar to steal from the convenient store. The convenient store is probably owned by some rich guy who walked over people to get his wealth and the beggar was a poor victim who probably faced financial hardships (due to other people walking over him), racism, ageism, xenophobia, a family history of alcoholism and addiction, unfair job opportunities, etc. Therefore, how do you argue that we have the right kind of social support mechanisms and that the beggar is not justified in taking what he wants to survive?
    We actually have social welfare services the have access to, and we could always improve them as a superior alternative. If that were not the case, and if starvaton were the only option otherwise, there would be a moral justification. But you have failed to demosntrate that's actually the case. And if that were the case, it would be an excellent reason to improve our social services to be on the much better level of many other first world countries.

    There is a better alternative than to encourage or allow random vigilantee justice and action.

    Have you ever read about classical liberalism?
    Yes. Primarily, I have read J.S. Mill. and Bentham.


    You admit that redistribution is necessary and perhaps even moral (those may not have been your exact words). However, how is it any different to take from the successful entrepreneurs to give to those at the bottom-rung than to take points away from the academically gifted and give it to those who have not earned it?
    Grade redistribution has entirely different consequences, some of which, make it pointless anyway. Taking from the very rich and redistributing improves society and helps the people you give it to while not really harming those you take it from. Everyone benefits from social safety nets and improvement programmes (social services). Taking grades from the talented and giving it to those who are not helps no one and harms everyone. It's not even a palliative for suffering. The point of schooling is to learn skills to serve society, get a job, and improve yourself. Giving a grade to someone who didn't earn it will not faciliate any of that, but giving some money from those who, through some means, obtained most of the resources, to those with very little, will help the people who got the resources while no harming comparably those who gave up the resources.

    The person who got grade inflation will cost society moe in the long term and will harm people by doing a job he's not qualified for. Better to just pay for him outright than to string him along, pay for him, and them pay for him again.


    Rights are natural and are equal to all men and women, and for a list of rights, please check the constitution. Materialistic benefits are not rights, only the chance to pursue them (hence, the pursuit of happiness).
    You keep talking about rights to a person who isn't a deontologist.


    [quote]
    Taxes, as a means to maintain a limited government which protects our rights, is not theft. Taxes as a means to distribute largesse, to financially injure a targeted group, or to empower individuals at the highest level who may then use this redistributed wealth as a popular method to buy votes, is theft. [/quote\

    Translation: "taxes are theft, except for when they aren't--that is, whenever I support them " You cannot have it both ways. Pick one. Be decisive, not wishy washy. You cannot say that taxes are theft, and therefore wrong, except for what you arbitrarily decide is okay.


    Talk about a straw man argument. There is a difference between a night watchman state and no state at all. I suggest you read and properly evaluate my philosophical foundation before you attack with harsh, unfounded criticisms.
    Except, the difference is illusory, as you arbitrarily support conclusions that don't really stem from your principles any less than the others. You just stop one step behind. They are you without your arbitrary prohibitions.




    You’re completely wrong. The most successful of these charitable organizations were developed right around the time period that you’ve just mentioned. The Red Cross, the Hull House, The American Cancer Society, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Carnegie Foundation. Others came way later, such as the WWF, the Gates Foundation, the PEW Center Charity Trusts, etc. These organizations do most of the charitable work in this country. What government may do is spend money on lousy infrastructure and call it charity (we give this man a job to build a bridge to nowhere), thereby greatly increasing the total amount government may spend on charity. Individual private citizens continue to donate, willingly, more of their own money versus the amount spent by government on public “charities.”

    Again, I brought up the reconstruction of S.F. and you failed to respond directly to it.
    We had a charity based model, and that's why we abandonded it. You really need to boned up on your 19th century history. If it were so successful, we wouldn't have gone to an alternative.


    This statement perfectly illustrates the nice little package of a worldview that you possess. Government is your answer for everything, in this case? Is it about every case, since you failed to distinguish what sort of problems can be alleviated by the scope of government enforcement? If asked whether we should maximize individual liberty or maximize statist authority, would there be any doubt that you would succumb to the latter?
    The Free Market is your god, to which privatization and "liberty" are almost always answers, regardless of the impacts on others.




    Yea, because all you do is criticize the ideas of everyone else, while refusing to offer a substantial solution based on real principles and live examples. As my Grandmother always used to say, “if you don’t take a stand, you stand for nothing.” You’re not even a good Devil’s advocate.
    I have an alternative plan. But this discussion isn't relevant to that, so why bring it up? Off topic.


    This is simply an association fallacy reliant on hasty generalizations and misconstrued ideas.
    Except, Objectivism is nearly identical to Libertarianism, so a criticism of one is a good criticsm of most of the other. Objectivism is a "night watchmen" looneytuntarian ideology.




    Edit: Regarding grade inflation, one may say that grade inflation would harm the motivation of those to work hard, and thus, it's similiar to wealth redistribution and those who work hard to earn money. But this comparison would suffer from several problems:

    1. Unlike the wealth, students have a very limite number of grade points available to them. There is only a range of F to A.

    2. Often, in order to take a person from one meaningful grade level to another, it would entail a significant harm to the person who got the higher grade, and significantly decrease his opportunity to get an incraese in the opportunity of another. While taking a meaningful amount of money from someone very wealthy wouldn't necessarily harm him, taking a meaningful amount of grades points from someone would impact him relatively more due to the scarcity of points available and the expectations of academc institutions and employers.

    If I lose my A to get a C, to help someone who is incompetent get a C, there are plenty of things I cannot do, while it also doesn't really help him or society. If I lose a million off of 30 million, the impact is not nearly the same.
    Last edited by Technocratic; 10-03-10 at 04:29 PM.

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    Re: Was Grover Cleveland generally successful as president or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Technocratic View Post
    Well, if progressivism is just anyone who generally favour's reform, then wouldn't everyone be progressives? No one really thinks he's being regressive. They always claim it's reform. I think the actual Progressive movement had a very difficult membership and demographic, although Populists became Progressives and their views sometimes overlapped, yea. Populists tended to be poor rurals who were staunchy "anti elite and intellectual." But progressives weren't.
    The scope of Progressive reform, and their call for increased government involvement in things did separate them from others

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCourtesy View Post
    Interesting, though. Cleveland, in some circles, was seen as a reformer. He was a pretty active President, and took his "veto" role seriously, vetoing a lot of legislation. I think this just shows that, sometimes, comparing political parties or even ideologies from era to era doesn't necessarily work.
    I don't mean that he didn't do anything, but he was of a far different political persuasion than Bryan
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