Does Obama deserve a kicking?

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks

Does Obama deserve a kicking in next weeks Mid-Terms?

YES
6
26%
NO
17
74%
 
Total votes: 23

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Brian Wilson
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Re: Does Obama deserve a kicking?

Postby Brian Wilson » 29 Oct 2010, 23:33

I'll comment on this when I have more time on my hands.
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Re: Does Obama deserve a kicking?

Postby nathan » 29 Oct 2010, 23:36

Jimbo wrote:I see from your profile you are in Toronto. You must be itchin' to ditch that freezing socialist popcycle stand and head to ... lemme think, which country most closely adheres to a libertarian model where the people are free to do what they like yet expect no financial aid from the government? Could it be India? Democratic but teeming, stinking, begging, grasping, hungry India. Maybe there you will find political bliss but keep your hands off my begging bowl. ;)

The last I checked, Somalia's government has control of only about 8 square blocks. Their limited government is working out swimmingly!

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Re: Does Obama deserve a kicking?

Postby Sneelock » 29 Oct 2010, 23:38

Brian Wilson wrote:I'll comment on this when I have more time on my hands.

Brian Wilson! I thought you and GoogaMooga were the same guy! :oops:

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Re: Does Obama deserve a kicking?

Postby Brian Wilson » 30 Oct 2010, 02:28

sneelock wrote:
Brian Wilson wrote:I'll comment on this when I have more time on my hands.

Brian Wilson! I thought you and GoogaMooga were the same guy! :oops:


Na. He can't be me. He likes Mike Love too much. :lol:
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Re: Does Obama deserve a kicking?

Postby Hepcat » 30 Oct 2010, 02:31

What is this, a gathering of collectivists anonymous? So many assholes, so little time. Where to start?
This is as good a place as any I suppose:

Jimbo wrote:Government loans and grants helped me pay for my education. THANK YOU GOVERNMENT!


It's always easy to give away other people's money. Try thanking your neighbours from whom the money came instead.

Jimbo wrote:lemme think, which country most closely adheres to a libertarian model where the people are free to do what they like yet expect no financial aid from the government?


Let's just say you weren't thinking effectively enough. Look for the country where government expenditures account for the lowest percentage of the GDP.

Snarfyguy wrote:It's susceptibility to abuse.

Deregulated markets consistently turn into feeding troughs for the unscrupulous.


"Feeding troughs for the unscrupulous?" An apt description of every government I've ever known.

Moreover I can say "no" to the unscrupulous at the feeding trough in the private sector. I don't have to buy their product. But just you try saying no to the government. You'll soon learn just how "free" your jurisdiction really is.

Worse yet is the problem posed by the old power corrupts adage. As a result governments invariably gravitate to the abuse of power. And it can't be any other way. It's the power hungry who are by nature attracted to government. Don't think so? Just how many governments haven't grown over time?

How is that not obvious?

:?:
Last edited by Hepcat on 30 Oct 2010, 04:25, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Does Obama deserve a kicking?

Postby Sneelock » 30 Oct 2010, 02:33

obvious to you, garbeldy-gook to little old me.
funny how you eschew* Ayn Rand and call us "collectivists"

*gesundheidt!

Sneelock

Re: Does Obama deserve a kicking?

Postby Sneelock » 30 Oct 2010, 02:35

Brian Wilson wrote:
sneelock wrote:
Brian Wilson wrote:I'll comment on this when I have more time on my hands.

Brian Wilson! I thought you and GoogaMooga were the same guy! :oops:


Na. He can't be me. He likes Mike Love too much. :lol:


well, it's good to see you at any rate!

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Re: Does Obama deserve a kicking?

Postby Hepcat » 30 Oct 2010, 02:37

Sneelock wrote:funny how you eschew* Ayn Rand and call us "collectivists"


Statists then. That's a word much beloved in libertarian circles.

;)
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Re: Does Obama deserve a kicking?

Postby Sneelock » 30 Oct 2010, 02:59

:lol: Who let the dogs out? Whoever it was, I'm sure it wasn't the Baja Men!

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Re: Does Obama deserve a kicking?

Postby Hepcat » 30 Oct 2010, 04:18

Nolamike wrote:Yep. Libertarianism is something that, in principle, if the world were a perfect place, would make a lot of sense - it is the same basic thing as the idea of hippy communes, just looked at from a different angle. As it stands, though, we've got a huge, populous, country in a very complex world. Libertarianism in practice would be nothing but anarchy/chaos.


You have it backward. The more complex the world the less probable central planning can work. Consider. Can any individual or agency map out every phase of your life down to the smallest detail? Of course not for very obvious reasons. So how can any agency map out something as infinitely more complex as the myriad of interactions of millions of individuals?

Nolamike wrote:If you look at the recent financial meltdown, it was the lack of regulations and the rolling back of regulations that fucked over all of us.


Oh? You're saying that the Community Reinvestment Act and the raft of similar federal and state legislation to encourage home ownership and mortgage lending to facilitate this home ownership had nothing to do with the house price bubble? You don't see that federal agencies such as Ginnie Mae, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae played a crucial part by "insuring" mortgages whether prudent or not? You think the American banks lent money on unsound mortgages on overpriced properties because they were bound and determined to aid and abet a bubble that would blow up in their faces and wipe out their capital base? Not true. The lenders were led to believe that these mortgages were backstopped by government insurance programs.

Nolamike wrote:The massive erosion of Louisiana's coast can be traced to a combination of factors....


Yes, and the single most important of these factors is that the Mississippi River has been chanelled and dyked so that it doesn't overflow its banks every spring. No longer does the river deposit silt in the delta every year to replace the topsoil continually blown out to sea.

Nolamike wrote:Oh, and another point on this - two of the biggest reasons why New Orleans and its people were so vulnerable to the storm surge through the MR Go and the Lake were due to private industry fucking us. , but two of the more significant ones are (1) oil companies tearing the wetlands to hell to build thousands of canals to make it easier to get oil....


And who actually expropriated the land from private landowners and turned it over to the oil companies to dig canals? Governments.

Nolamike wrote:...released nutrias into the wild, which have literally eaten away at the wetlands (they burrow under and graze on the vegetation that holds the mud/dirt in place, causing it to be washed away).


I didn't realize nutria had an actual political agenda, let alone a libertarian one. If, however, you're arguing that their escape from privately owned farms is reason enough to indict free markets, that's just silly. For one thing animals escaped from soviet collective farms everyday. Animals are a surprisingly clever lot. They can escape from whoever owns the farm.

Worse yet is the example of the airline industry. Most international airlines were for decades owned by governments. Their planes crashed all the time. That detail by itself didn't constitute an indictment of state ownership though.

:geek:
Last edited by Hepcat on 31 Oct 2010, 03:16, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Does Obama deserve a kicking?

Postby Nolamike » 30 Oct 2010, 04:32

Hepcat wrote:
Jimbo wrote:Government loans and grants helped me pay for my education. THANK YOU GOVERNMENT!


It's always easy to give away other people's money. Try thanking your neighbours from whom the money came instead.


Yes. Clearly, the best way to make the world a better place is to keep education out of reach of the non-rich. We, as a society, certainly don't want more people to be better educated. :?

Oh, and "give away other people's money?" Generally speaking, higher education = higher income/innovation = higher government tax revenue AND the collective social benefit of having higher educated systems. Sounds like a winner to me.
Sir John Coan wrote:Nolamike is speaking nothing but sense here.


Loki wrote:Mike is Hookfinger's shill.

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Re: Does Obama deserve a kicking?

Postby king feeb » 30 Oct 2010, 04:38

Hepcat wrote:What is this, a gathering of collectivists anonymous? So many assholes, so little time. Where to start?

Fortunately, the rest of us "collectivists/ statists" only have one asshole to shoot down (namely, you). Since your "analysis" has been, so far, filled with half-truths and sneering generalities but short on actual facts, that should be quite easy to do.
Hepcat wrote:
Jimbo wrote:Government loans and grants helped me pay for my education. THANK YOU GOVERNMENT!

It's always easy to give away other people's money. Try thanking your neighbours from whom the money came instead.

Your actual mileage may vary (especially since you're in Canada), but a quick survey of reports from various American states shows that investment in higher education results in more money coming back to the states in terms of tax revenues and increased incomes for residents. These range from $2 for each $1 invested (Tennessee) to $5 for each $1 invested (Texas, New York and Massachusetts). You can Google these figures easily- I didn't see a single one that stated a zero sum or a loss. So, maybe Jimbo's neighbors should be thanking him.

Hepcat wrote:
Jimbo wrote:lemme think, which country most closely adheres to a libertarian model where the people are free to do what they like yet expect no financial aid from the government?


Let's just say you weren't thinking effectively enough. Look for the country where government expenditures account for the lowest percentage of the GDP.

That's easy to find out: Sudan (7.59%) is the Libertarian Paradise you've been looking for, followed closely by Bangladesh (8.74%). I eagerly await your undoubtedly compelling argument that either nation has a better standard of living for its people than Canada, the US or UK. Now, you may whine that this is a bit unfair, since nations like Sudan don't have much of a GDP to start with, but a more telling argument is that nations that spend a larger percentage also have larger GDP figures from the outset. Why? Because they have previously invested in infrastructure and education that allows their economies to grow.

Hepcat wrote:
Snarfyguy wrote:It's susceptibility to abuse.

Deregulated markets consistently turn into feeding troughs for the unscrupulous.


"Feeding troughs for the unscrupulous?" Sounds like every government I've known.

Moreover I can say "no" to the unscrupulous at the feeding trough in the private sector. I don't have to buy their product. But just you try saying no to the government. You'll soon learn just how "free" your jurisdiction really is.

Sure, the old "I can go to the competition" argument works with consumer goods (you can drink Coke instead of Pepsi, you can patronize WalMart instead of Target etc). But when you get into areas such as utilities, mass transit and financial services, the Libertarian argument falls apart because of the reality of the infrastructure/ systems that are needed to provide those things.

To give just one microcosmic example, the partial privatization of mass transit in my state of Colorado has been a failure: because of the reliance on the bottom line and private capital, the routes that have been privatized are less efficient, prone to service reductions, inexperienced and underpaid drivers and other problems. The same thing has happened to garbage collection, which used to be done by the city. Supposedly, competition should have taken care of this, but because the collection companies are foremost in the business of making profits, none of the competitors provide a service that was as good as the old one run by the municipality.

In other words, if you think privately-run concerns are any less inefficient or money-grubbing than municipal ones, you are sadly mistaken. In fact I'd venture to say the opposite, since citizens can always vote an incompetent or corrupt government out of office. Private ownership is only accountable to their profit margin.

Hepcat wrote:Worse yet is the problem posed by the old power corrupts adage. As a result governments invariably gravitate to the abuse of power. And it can't be any other way. It's the power hungry who are by nature attracted to government. Don't think so? Just how many governments haven't grown over time?

How is that not obvious?

:?:

Your last statement doesn't prove the preceding ones by any stretch. While the small number of corrupt government workers grab the headlines, there are lots of people in government who went into it to earn a living while helping the greater good. I would venture to say that there is far more greed and corruption in private industry than in government... although in those instances where the two freely intersect, you have the worst of both spheres, which is why I believe that government should regulate industry, instead of being in bed with it.
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Re: Does Obama deserve a kicking?

Postby Nolamike » 30 Oct 2010, 05:07

Hepcat wrote:
Nolamike wrote:Yep. Libertarianism is something that, in principle, if the world were a perfect place, would make a lot of sense - it is the same basic thing as the idea of hippy communes, just looked at from a different angle. As it stands, though, we've got a huge, populous, country in a very complex world. Libertarianism in practice would be nothing but anarchy/chaos.


You have it backward. The more complex the world the less probable central planning can work. Consider. Can any individual or agency map out every phase of your life down to the smallest detail? Of course not for very obvious reasons. So how can any agency map out something as infinitely more complex as the myriad of interactions of millions of individuals?


Larger government isn't there to plan out "every phase of [our] lives." It is there to collectively protect citizens from threats to their safety - be they physical or economic. And any well-respected modern economist will tell you that a truly free market doesn't work, and that some regulation is necessary. When Adam Smith conjured up the notion of an "invisible hand" leading a truly "free market," the world was a very different place. The failures of the free market and the havoc/destruction such failures wrought led to the recognized need for some regulation. Such regulations haven't always worked as well as they should have - but that doesn't mean we should scrap all regulation whatsoever. It means we should work to find the most effective regulations we can. If I have a fire alarm that fails, and my house burns down, it isn't going to do any good to say "Hey, fire alarms are worthless! I'm not going to install any in my next house!"

Hepcat wrote:
Nolamike wrote:If you look at the recent financial meltdown, it was the lack of regulations and the rolling back of regulations that fucked over all of us.


Oh? You're saying that the Community Reinvestment Act and the raft of similar federal and state legislation to encourage home ownership and mortgage lending to facilitate this home ownership had nothing to do with the house price bubble? You don't see that federal agencies such as Ginnie Mae, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae played a crucial part by "insuring" mortgages whether prudent or not? You think the American banks lent money on unsound mortgages on overpriced properties because they were bound and determined to aid and abet a bubble that would blow up in their faces and wipe out their capital base? Not true. The lenders were led to believe that these mortgages were backstopped by government insurance programs.


Sure it played a part. However the most significant cause was mortgage lenders learning how to play the system for their own financial benefit. And the loopholes in the system that allowed them to game it for their own benefit were the result of relaxed (not increased) regulation. To put it simply, relaxed regulations allowed mortgage brokers to approve mortgages for "gullible" (or at least not financially savvy) folks, with further assent by real estate agents (who, like mortgage brokers, get commission), told their clients "Hey! You can totally afford this house - see, your payments are only going to be $1,000 per month!" Without really explaining, "Oh yeah, but the payments'll be three times that two years from now." Of course, the real estate agents and mortgage brokers don't really give a shit - they get their commission right away, and it'll be years before folks get their homes foreclosed, and how many people are not gonna use a mortgage broker or real estate agent because someone else failed to make their payments (well, that couldn't happen to me!). Of course, the private mortgage companies then bundled and sold these mortgages to the banks as Mortgage Backed Securities - something that had been going on for ages, no problem, but with the relaxed regulations on who can get a mortgage, oh... suddenly people couldn't make their payments, as they'd ballooned tri-fold. So the banks suddenly have a cash shortage. And then they can't extend the standard short-term loans to businesses that they're used to extending - e.g., loans to restock inventories, or pay workers, etc. Which means that more companies are fucked. Which means stock prices fall. Which fucks the banks even more, because the banks are combo investment and commercial banks, which, as we learned in the '20s, results in banks losing a shit-ton of peoples' money, and totally fucking everyone. Which is why we separated the two types of banks in the '20s, and that worked great, until bankers wanted more profit, and found a willing stooge in Greenspan, who deregulated the market (love that free market small government system!) and allowed commercial and investment banks to merge in '99. Which brings us back to where the banks that have made MBS investments having a cash shortfall that becomes even more dire as the businesses to whom they loan money and whose stock they own start losing money.

A deregulated market has been proven time and time again to not work in the modern economic world. Private industry cares only about profit - which is fine, as that's the purpose of a business. But people need more than profit.

Hepcat wrote:
Nolamike wrote:The massive erosion of Louisiana's coast can be traced to a combination of factors....


Yes, and the single most important of these factors is that the Mississippi River has been chanelled and dyked so that it doesn't overflow its banks every spring. No longer does the river deposit silt in the delta every year to replace the topsoil continually blown out to sea.


Oh trust me, I ain't gonna defend the corps' history with the levee system. But don't try to fool yourself that it wasn't private industry's influence over government that got the levee system set up, and even more so in getting the MRGO constructed, and in getting the land the oil companies wanted to build the canals through the wetlands, and have their way with our coastline. The problem isn't big government - the problem is that our government is too beholden to the interests of those entities that want a profit-filled free market.

:roll:
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Loki wrote:Mike is Hookfinger's shill.

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Re: Does Obama deserve a kicking?

Postby Sneelock » 30 Oct 2010, 05:15

I regard people who say they don't believe in society the same way I regard people who say they're really vampires.
whatever gets you through the night. I'm Rodney King. I want everybody to get along.

When everybody on my block decides there's too much garbage we all get plastic bags and put up with each other long enough to pick that crap up. this is society and it works. it's as simple and as logical as not shitting where you sleep. it changes my block and I think it can change the world if we can manage to keep our hands from each other's throats.

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Re: Does Obama deserve a kicking?

Postby king feeb » 30 Oct 2010, 05:31

Oops. Double post. BCB is acting up a little tonight.
Last edited by king feeb on 30 Oct 2010, 05:34, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Does Obama deserve a kicking?

Postby king feeb » 30 Oct 2010, 05:33

Nolamike made some of these points while I was researching this, but my arguments are different enough to make it worthwhile to post this.
Hepcat wrote:
Nolamike wrote:Yep. Libertarianism is something that, in principle, if the world were a perfect place, would make a lot of sense - it is the same basic thing as the idea of hippy communes, just looked at from a different angle. As it stands, though, we've got a huge, populous, country in a very complex world. Libertarianism in practice would be nothing but anarchy/chaos.


You have it backward. The more complex the world the less probable central planning can work. Consider. Can any individual or agency map out every phase of your life down to the smallest detail? Of course not for very obvious reasons. So how can any agency map out something as infinitely more complex as the myriad of interactions of millions of individuals?

No, I think you have it backwards. Agencies and other groups have the pooled knowledge and experience that individuals lack in dealing with a complex world. The rest of your argument is moot: No one needs to have things micromanaged to the tiniest degree, because if planners "map out" the general course, individuals can take care of the specifics. Central planning provides a framework, some protection... and nothing more. Individuals, who often work at cross-purposes with each other, cannot manage this at all.

Hepcat wrote:
Nolamike wrote:If you look at the recent financial meltdown, it was the lack of regulations and the rolling back of regulations that fucked over all of us.


Oh? You're saying that the Community Reinvestment Act and the raft of similar federal and state legislation to encourage home ownership and mortgage lending to facilitate this home ownership had nothing to do with the house price bubble? You don't see that federal agencies such as Ginnie Mae, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae played a crucial part by "insuring" mortgages whether prudent or not? You think the American banks lent money on unsound mortgages on overpriced properties because they were bound and determined to aid and abet a bubble that would blow up in their faces and wipe out their capital base? Not true. The lenders were led to believe that these mortgages were backstopped by government insurance programs.

There is no doubt that the CRA encouraged the government a lot of people to be given mortgages that they could not afford (after all, "home ownership" was one of President Bush's big rallying cries). That, in itself, caused a problem, but was only a contributing factor to the meltdown of 08-09. If that alone was the only problem that occurred, it wouldn't have dragged the entire financial system down... it would have been a small, but unfortunate, bump in the economic road.
But Mike is correct in stating that the deregulation of the financial industries was a much larger factor. Deregulation allowed Wall Street slicksters to repackage high-risk mortgages into securities called derivatives that speculators could use to bet on the direction of the housing market. Banks and other financial institutions earned multiple millions of dollars in fees for creating these securities, but those good times didn't last. It was high-stakes financial gambling, and the dice finally came up "snake eyes" when foreclosures skyrocketed in 2007-08. Most of the derivatives became worthless and banks, insurance firms and other financial institutions lost billions of dollars. This, not the foreclosures themselves, led to the massive meltdown and subsequent government bailouts.


Hepcat wrote:Worse yet is the example of the airline industry. Most international airlines were for decades owned by governments. Their planes crashed all the time. That detail by itself didn't constitute an indictment of state ownership though.

I just looked at the stats (from the 1920s to the present), and there doesn't seem to be any evidence that government-owned airlines have any higher (or lower) rate of accidents. Maybe you can provide some evidence that government-owned airlines "crashed all the time".
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Re: Does Obama deserve a kicking?

Postby Brian Wilson » 30 Oct 2010, 06:10

It's going to be must see viewing next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Watch FOX on Tuesday as they drool during the returns. The Evil Genius™ Karl Rove will the highlight of the night as he cackles in delight (much like Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars) recapping the election during his segment on Hannity.

Watch MSNBC on Wednesday as they weep during the recaps. Ed Schultz will be the lowlight, as all of "hot buttons" will have been tapped out by the time The Ed Show hits the air, depriving me of some popcorn-munching entertainment.
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Re: Does Obama deserve a kicking?

Postby king feeb » 30 Oct 2010, 06:59

Crystal ball time, then.

I predict that the GOP will take the House by a slim number and that the Dems will hold onto the Senate by a similarly small margin.

I figure that neither side will have a decisive mandate, which certainly won't please the Chamber Of Commerce and others who poured so much money into the election.

I also think the GOP will pick up a few new governorships, maybe 5-7 states. But not New York or California.
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Re: Does Obama deserve a kicking?

Postby Johnny Dumfries » 30 Oct 2010, 09:33


Sneelock

Re: Does Obama deserve a kicking?

Postby Sneelock » 30 Oct 2010, 09:45

"the world's most quoted living humorist"?
can that possibly be true? what a depressing thought.
could be worse, I suppose.