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The USA...

The USA...
Hanover
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#91 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Mar 6, 2013 - 1:42 PM:

baden511 wrote:


Fine, but suppose you get it, do you then want even smaller government? At what point do you stop wanting smaller government? You see the problem with clinging to an ideology that can't in principle ever be satisfied, right?
The tact here is to paint me as a radical to make my position more attackable. I'm not an anarchist, and I do believe in there being a government. I believe we need a police force, infrastructure, and even an educational system. I don't have to jump on the slippery slope any more than my polar opposites who want to increase the size of government to provide greater social welfare. I suppose at one end we have anarchy and the other totalitarianism. I'm right of center. Maybe you're left of it. I no more want to keep moving right than you to keep moving left.
Kelvin
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#92 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Mar 6, 2013 - 1:44 PM:

baden511 wrote:


Fine, but suppose you get it, do you then want even smaller government? At what point do you stop wanting smaller government? You see the problem with clinging to an ideology that can't in principle ever be satisfied, right?

The US federal government is huge mainly because of the Cold War. There was a notion that the Soviet Union was like some sort of super efficient insect colony. It was predicted that by the end of the 20th century, the Soviets would have far outstripped the west in terms of productivity. So it seemed warranted to blow the US economy into a monster to compete.

You see, there are always a variety of variables that make it difficult to solve problems in some sort of God-like way. We don't have that power. We continuously respond to circumstances using the principles we believe in.

In this thread I think we've done a fine job of reproducing the 20th century's offerings on the topic. We can't agree that there's something wrong. Those who do condemn the situation can't agree on why it's wrong, or what path to take to correct things.

One piece of wisdom is this: Nature is the Great Corrector.

Oh yea.. one other variable: it's true that 10% own 90%, but US numbers are skewed because it's been absorbing Latin America for many years now. Many of the folks at the bottom don't speak English and are semi to completely migratory. It's not clear what their integration into the rest of America will look like.

Edited by Kelvin on Mar 6, 2013 - 2:14 PM
On Mar 6, 2013 - 2:47 PM, baden511 responded: I doubt nature is too inclined to solve our problems for us. Quid pro quo...
Hanover
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#93 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Mar 6, 2013 - 1:47 PM:

ciceronianus wrote:
Yes. I need to condemn and hate the very wealthy who are devoted merely to the accumulation of wealth. What other explanation would there be? If only they did not need to devote themselves merely to the accumulation of wealth. Then, I wouldn't need to condemn and hate them.
You like to spend time in Philosophy Forums. They like to accumulate wealth. They like to buy things. You like to hate and condemn. Everyone needs a hobby.
On Mar 6, 2013 - 3:56 PM, ciceronianus responded:

No, I have a need to hate and condemn. It's not a question of liking. I must do that. It's a kind of natural law, it must be so; you know, like the very wealthy necessarily doing good things. As to PF, well....

Edited by ciceronianus on Mar 6, 2013 - 4:01 PM
baden511
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#94 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Mar 6, 2013 - 2:42 PM:

Hanover wrote:
The tact here is to paint me as a radical to make my position more attackable.


Nope, you don't seem to be giving much more than the usual Republican spiel, which is hardly radical (although eminently attackable). If anyone's radical, it's BC, but I reckon he knows it and doesn't care. Maybe I'll attack him later when I'm done with you smiling face

Hanover wrote:

I'm not an anarchist, and I do believe in there being a government. I believe we need a police force, infrastructure, and even an educational system. I don't have to jump on the slippery slope any more than my polar opposites who want to increase the size of government to provide greater social welfare. I suppose at one end we have anarchy and the other totalitarianism. I'm right of center. Maybe you're left of it. I no more want to keep moving right than you to keep moving left.


The difference seems to be that I have no specific political ideological attachments. I never said I believed in bigger government. I simply believe in balance, in government and in everything else. And I don't think you have it in the US. Your federal minimum wage is pitiful, for example, and your education system is mediocre at best. I'd say it makes sense to take a few extra dollars from the minority who don't really need them and invest in raising living and educational standards for the rest.

Hardly makes me a left winger. I mean, in Thailand, for some of the part-time work I do, I get paid over 100 times the minimum wage, and it's all tax fee, so I'm no shining beacon of socialism. In fact, if I were rich in America, it may be that I'd be just as self-serving as you and your buddies on the right. I'd hope I'd at least be able to admit it though.

Conclusion: I should probably shut up. That doesn't mean you're making any sense though. Only BC, for his belief in the ultimate extended family, is redeemable. And maybe ciceronianus for his drollness.





BitterCrank
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#95 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Mar 6, 2013 - 3:00 PM:

Kelvin wrote:

The US federal government is huge mainly because of the Cold War. There was a notion that the Soviet Union was like some sort of super efficient insect colony. It was predicted that by the end of the 20th century, the Soviets would have far outstripped the west in terms of productivity. So it seemed warranted to blow the US economy into a monster to compete.


The role of government in the United States has been gradually expanding for a long time. At the time of the Civil War, the government had no means, and no obligation, to track soldiers from their first day in uniform to the day they died, or where they were buried. One historian marks the assumption of responsibility for soldiers' bodies and graves as the beginning of the modern government. Maybe so.

Until the 16th Amendment (1913) the government's income (tariffs and the like) was too meagre to finance much growth.

The Great Depression and World War II required a hugely expanded government. The US emerged from WWII as the only industrial power whose factories were still intact. In addition, there was a tremendous pool of money (earned during WWII when there was little to buy). The economy boomed to meet pent up consumer demand.

One of the realities which is often overlooked is that the modern state is a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie. Everybody wants this level playing field (or better, one tipped in their favor) which is a service government provides.

Where did you get the idea of the USSR as a super efficient insect colony?
Kelvin
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#96 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Mar 6, 2013 - 3:34 PM:

BitterCrank wrote:


The role of government in the United States has been gradually expanding for a long time. At the time of the Civil War, the government had no means, and no obligation, to track soldiers from their first day in uniform to the day they died, or where they were buried. One historian marks the assumption of responsibility for soldiers' bodies and graves as the beginning of the modern government. Maybe so.

Until the 16th Amendment (1913) the government's income (tariffs and the like) was too meagre to finance much growth.

The Great Depression and World War II required a hugely expanded government. The US emerged from WWII as the only industrial power whose factories were still intact. In addition, there was a tremendous pool of money (earned during WWII when there was little to buy). The economy boomed to meet pent up consumer demand.

One of the realities which is often overlooked is that the modern state is a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie. Everybody wants this level playing field (or better, one tipped in their favor) which is a service government provides.

Where did you get the idea of the USSR as a super efficient insect colony?

I agree. The notion that the government which governs least governs best pretty much ended with the Civil War. The next shift toward favoring government intervention was related to the labor movement. When my grandfather was a child, he worked 12 hours per day, six days per week in a tobacco factory. As I'm sure you know.. that is a problem that could only be solved by the power of the federal government. So the expectation that the government is responsible for protecting the disenfranchised grew over time.

If you get a chance, check out The Fifty Year Wound for the low down on the evolution of American government through the Cold War, popular perception of the Soviet Union, the details of the incident in which Krushchev made Kennedy cry, efforts to kill Castro, and the mighty cash hemorrhage intended to make the US capable of competing with the Soviets sociologically. The super efficient insect colony image isn't mine. It's the image that blotted out the calmer insight.. that the USSR would implode on its own as long as it was contained.

The Cold War was an extended period of lunacy. We live with the fall-out to this day. My point was that if we're wondering why we're so stupid, it pays to glance backward.
ScottieX
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#97 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Mar 6, 2013 - 8:40 PM:

baden511 wrote:
Conclusion: I should probably shut up.


Im going to woander off topic a bit here... But I dont think you should shut up.

First we should rather deal with someone who argues in favour of the right thing and fails to live up to that standard than someone who says nothing or argues for not living up to standards.

And second even if you are mostly wrong, self censorship is a problem for most of the same reasons ordinary censorship is a problem.
On Mar 9, 2013 - 1:07 AM, baden511 responded: Not to worry, self-censorship is not really my strong point smiling face
Numan
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1 of 1 people found this post helpful
Posted Mar 15, 2013 - 11:19 AM:
Subject: We abhor the Daughters of the American Terrorist Uprising
'

I have long enjoyed telling Americans that if they had any sense, they would put their affairs into the hands of the British Colonial Office -- until they are ready for self-government.

Though (or because) my family was among the earliest settlers of Virginia, I detest the Terrorist Uprising of 1776 -- just look at the results!!
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Numan
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#99 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Mar 17, 2013 - 12:29 PM:
Subject: The United States of Hysteria
'

People often seem to ignore the importance of hysteria in American life. Of course, one can find examples of hysteria in the life of all nations, but what is peculiar about the psychology of Americans is the repeated recurrence of hysteria, and the regularity of the recurrence.

Leaving aside the hysteria of the Terrorist Uprising of 1776, there was the hysteria associated with the Alien and Sedition Acts at the end of the 1790's. There was a revival of hysteria at the time of the War of 1812, then a period of quiescence until the election of Andrew Jackson. That repulsive demagogue initiated an almost uninterrupted period of hysteria for more than a decade: the destruction of the Bank of the United States, the ethnic cleansing and genocide of the Five Nations, the anti-foreign, anti-Catholic, anti-Mason hysteria of the Know-Nothing Party, and, of course, the Manifest Destiny hysteria that led to the Mexican-American War.

That war, with barely a pause for breath, initiated the ever-growing hysteria of the 1850's which brought on the Civil War. That war was the most useless and unnecessary war of modern times; more than two per-cent of the American population died because of the war -- about the same number and percentage of deaths in Iraq for which America bears such responsibility. If both sides, North and South, had just sat on their hands for thirty years, slavery would have ended anyway -- serfdom in Russia and slavery in Brazil were long gone by 1890, or was the United States so much more backward than Russia and Brazil that slavery would have hung on until the twentieth century? All that misery and death could have been avoided, and all the wounds and bitterness and injustice that lasted so long. But, Oh no, Americans must have their hysterical fits; by the late 1850's each side had so worked itself into a passion, so convinced itself that it was agrieved and wronged, so filled itself with righteous indignation, self-pity and intransigence that a paroxysm of gibbering, murderous rage could not be avoided.

Then there was the peace of exhaustion for thirty-odd years until the nonsense of Free Silver and "You shall not crucify Mankind upon a cross of gold" primed the pump for the "Maine Incident" and the Spanish-American War. By this time the hysteria was being much more consciously directed.

Next was the war hysteria of the First World War, the Ku Klux Klan hysteria of the early twenties, not forgetting the hysteria that led to Prohibition, which made the world safe for the Mafia and the FBI.

Take another hop and a skip to the Second World War, when hysteria made it seem perfectly acceptable to throw American citizens into concentration camps, mass-murder civilians in bombing raids, and rain atomic destruction down upon a defeated Japan.

Then a hysteria which I personally remember, the McCarthyite communist witch-hunts which fastened the oppressive military-industrial complex upon the American people ever after. People should have paid attention to Eisenhower's warnings!
Next the coup of the Kennedy Assassination set the stage for the prolonged hysteria of the Vietnam War.

Then there was a longer than usual period of relative quiet---just constant, low-level hysteria -- until Monika Lewinski, 2000 election fraud, hysterical over-reaction to the 9-11 attacks, the Iraq War and "Homeland Security" -- in other words our present bout of general mayhem and hysteria.

We still have the collapse of the dollar to look forward to, and the somewhat slower collapse of the American military. And when the six percent of the world's population which is represented by the citizens of the US find it necessary to live on six percent of the world's resources rather than the present twenty-five percent -- that should be quite adequate to fuel another round of perfectly futile hysteria.
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