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    Quote Originally Posted by Mcgyver View Post
    Except aid/transfer payments has about zero to with socialism. socialism = means of production owned/controlled by the state. Its the economic model communists countries typically follow
    You're right (I was just trying to soften the message). Louisiana would actually be the second most "communist" (e.g. not "socialist") state in the US. As Marx famously said "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need. . ." In the US it is states like New York and California that apparently have the ability to pay a surplus of taxes and states like Louisiana that are in need, receiving need, and then hypocritically complaining about all those taxes and our socialist/communist government.

    I'm just pointing out the hypocrisy here. California is a huge mostly capitalistic producer of high tech, biomedical, defense, aero, electrical etc. goods. It subsidizes much of the rest of the country through its higher taxation. Louisiana is mostly an extractive state. Nothing wrong with that, but it's also on the receiving end of lots of other people's money, including some of mine.

    As for who owns the industry -- in Louisiana it's often global oil, gas, and refining giants. They apparently don't pay enough taxes to keep the state off the dole?

    We'll leave for another day the point about producing enough carbon emissions to threaten and perhaps devastate many. What with MJR7 so delighted we're rolling back most all pollution controls, Trump's signature achievements in his mind. In a way, the gains for burning fossil fuels are capitalized and the hidden costs "socialized." Or is it "communized?" In any case it's yet another way in which some in that state benefit at the expense of others.

    Personally, I don't mind seeing Louisiana have decent infrastructure and aid in times of disaster like the recent storms. Do mind being 'dissed in the process of providing that aid. As for Bernie Sanders, pretty sure there's very little about North Korea he likes. Denmark, yeah.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteM View Post

    As for who owns the industry -- in Louisiana it's global oil, gas, and refining giants. They apparently don't pay enough taxes to keep the state off the dole?
    If that is the case, are you picking up on the theme here Pete? your wows once again aren't because of business, its from politicians legislator and regulators not properly doing their job

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    Carbon emissions concern is the biggest scheme I have seen lately.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mcgyver View Post
    If that is the case, are you picking up on the theme here Pete? your wows once again aren't because of business, its from politicians legislator and regulators not properly doing their job
    Pretty sure that's a takes-two-to-tango deal. I blame both businesses and the politicians whose favor they buy. Best way to restore a balance is to restore an informed and effective electorate. "Effective" will likely require legislating much of the hidden money out of politics.

    That way we might get a better breed of Congress critters. Ones that do the job they're elected to perform rather than the one a few donors pay them to perform.

    Our country's greater partisanship is another roadblock. It has been funded by a few, pioneered by Gingrich and others, and embraced by too many. Folks are signing on to big tribal bits of identity, without much thought on any given issue. So if Obama wanted something -- half the nation wanted the opposite without even knowing the issue. Example -- the intent day one of his Presidency to block everything. Now that Trump tweets something -- half the nation immediately wants the opposite. Thing is, several of the issues on the table need serious attention.

    A left-leaning example of that might be California becoming a sanctuary state or the big deal made of NFL players expressing some sort of solidarity about black lives. Both of those are in as much over-reaction to Trump as any real grappling with the issues of immigration reform or the still-too-visible remnants of racism. The right-leaning examples might be expressing solidarity with neo-Nazis ("nice people") and cheering any Trump-tweeted-jab at Hispanics, Europe, professors, scientists, the media, or anyone else not buying into a view from the right white edge of the world?

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteM View Post
    You're right (I was just trying to soften the message). Louisiana would actually be the second most "communist" (e.g. not "socialist") state in the US. As Marx famously said "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need. . ." In the US it is states like New York and California that apparently have the ability to pay a surplus of taxes and states like Louisiana that are in need, receiving need, and then hypocritically complaining about all those taxes and our socialist/communist government.

    I'm just pointing out the hypocrisy here. California is a huge mostly capitalistic producer of high tech, biomedical, defense, aero, electrical etc. goods. It subsidizes much of the rest of the country through its higher taxation. Louisiana is mostly an extractive state. Nothing wrong with that, but it's also on the receiving end of lots of other people's money, including some of mine.

    As for who owns the industry -- in Louisiana it's often global oil, gas, and refining giants. They apparently don't pay enough taxes to keep the state off the dole?

    We'll leave for another day the point about producing enough carbon emissions to threaten and perhaps devastate many. What with MJR7 so delighted we're rolling back most all pollution controls, Trump's signature achievements in his mind. In a way, the gains for burning fossil fuels are capitalized and the hidden costs "socialized." Or is it "communized?" In any case it's yet another way in which some in that state benefit at the expense of others.

    Personally, I don't mind seeing Louisiana have decent infrastructure and aid in times of disaster like the recent storms. Do mind being 'dissed in the process of providing that aid. As for Bernie Sanders, pretty sure there's very little about North Korea he likes. Denmark, yeah.

    phuk Denmark and N Korea.

    If you want more government then quit bitching about Louisiana....line up for the BS going on in California. Be happy, while the nation you claim to love destroys itself by ignoring its founding intentions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by morganfield52 View Post
    phuk Denmark and N Korea.

    If you want more government then quit bitching about Louisiana....line up for the BS going on in California. Be happy, while the nation you claim to love destroys itself by ignoring its founding intentions.
    The bitching came from a member in Louisiana. I just pointed out he and his state had little to bitch about.

    What I want is better government at all levels (local, state, national); efficient, mindful of ROI, honest, and responsive to its citizens. Pretty sure that's what our Founders wanted as well.

    As for "how much" -- our level of total taxation is about right IMO. On a list of total government spending as a percent of GDP, the US is around #100 out of about 160 countries. We're "low" by world standards, including most first world nations, but apparently "high" by our own (especially and nonsensically in poorer rural "taker" states).

    I'll be happiest when the dollars we spend on such things as health care, infrastructure, education, and defense give us more of the world's healthiest, most productive, best educated, and freest citizens. In all our States.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteM View Post
    Pretty sure that's a takes-two-to-tango deal.
    Sure, but that doesn't really mater. One can be expected to, indeed is supposed to pursue things to their economic advantage (within the law), and the other is supposed to protect the interests of, and serve the population at large.

    I don't know how you get better congress critters. Frankly I don't think you can, you're structurally beat before you start. A better educated constituency might help, better rewards and sanctions for behaviour of politicians. Ideas, but I still think its close to hopeless. Its like Winston said, its a crappy system but its the best we've got

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mcgyver View Post
    . . . I don't know how you get better congress critters. Frankly I don't think you can, you're structurally beat before you start. A better educated constituency might help, better rewards and sanctions for behaviour of politicians. Ideas, but I still think its close to hopeless. Its like Winston said, its a crappy system but its the best we've got
    I've known a few honorable politicians, who actually worked hard on behalf of their constituents yet were also willing to tell the looney's among them why they weren't going to ban vaccines, power lines, or new business. One of them (Sam Farr) recently decided to quit this calling. Here in the US we've made four serious mistakes (IMO) that have fewer honorable politicians running for office:

    1) Extreme partisanship. We now run pretty ugly, nasty, and simply dishonest campaigns across the nation. A truth-in-political-advertising law (such as in Canada?) might help a bit. Probably more important are centrists reaching a bit left and right and marginalizing the loonies at either extreme. Personally, I'd like to see the discussion move from potlical/tribal identity to the issues -- where there is often greater agreement on both what the problems are and how we might find solutions.

    2) Hidden (and too much) money in politics. Our Congress critters now spend most of their time, even while in office, fund raising. There's no time to actually understand issues and propose real solutions. The folks giving them this money aren't mostly doing it to promote motherhood and democracy. Instead, they're carving out oligopolies (e.g. pharma non-compete drug pricing in the US), tax preferences (e.g. hedge fund dealing treated as capital gains or Trump's sweet no-taxes real estate deals), tax avoidance (all those dollars overseas), or payouts (e.g. costly but crappy defense systems and bridges to nowhere), etc. Citizens United decision a huge mistake IMO -- and one that could and should be reversed. No reason we can't learn about the pros and candidates and choose between them without spending billions on attack ads and disinformation -- or have an election season stretch from the weeks in some countries to the entire terms of Congress members.

    3) Gerrymandering. Republicans have recently been better at it, but both parties have managed to carve out ridiculous districts. We're now at a point where a vote in one district counts almost 2x a vote in another. This has the effect of making politicians in blue states immune to conservative arguments and politicians in red states immune to progressive arguments.

    4) A paucity of genuine leadership. There are moments in history and cultures where public service is seen as an honorable and exacting calling. Now that we're running the country like a reality TV show (everyone a loser and fired, except one demeaned survivor, and daily 140 character Twedicts from our vain-glorious "leader") -- there's less hard-working and inspirational leadership and more posturing.

    All that said -- and as you echoed and Churchill suggested -- much of the world has far worse politics. We can celebrate the glass half full; and hope to restore the glass half empty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteM View Post
    Personally, I'd like to see the discussion move from potlical/tribal identity to the issues --
    .
    yeah, so would every thinking person. Just observing this forum though you're stuck in a rut where huge swaths of the population almost seem to define themselves by political party. By rote they mimic the party line on everything. I mean what kind of mental midget wants to tie their identity to politicians and a party? Gag. I say take pride in thinking for one selves and tell all the asshats to smarten up - there is not one I see that deserves unconditional love. Sans the blind faith they might actually feel some pressure to do the right thing. Otherwise prejudiced group think reigns

    I don't buy into it anymore. I don't buy into into the lies, the emotive manipulation, the pride BS or nationalism. Its structurally fucked because humans will fundamentally do whats best for them, and politics is a endless bunch of positions of conflicted interests. I'm not sure a politician could survive without lying and trading in favours. The odd brave soul might buck the trend, but not enough to matter. Which leads me back to Winston's wisdom, and I dismiss most of the rest of it and am just trying to take care of me and mine - a broader 'mine' that is, that would include the people I encounter; employees, customers etc - direct stakeholders.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big B View Post
    Trump probably just considers them losers like John McCain for getting ambushed. Or for not figuring out a way to avoid military service like he did when he repeatedly dodged the draft.

    Seriously, can someone explain what is so different here than in Benghazi?
    It's not being boostered by the russians on facebook, twitter, and chat groups. Once again the conservatives got
    caught with hook-in-mouth disease, paid for by our enemies. How about that photshopped picture of the runner
    where they stole his image to booster up the football anthem crap? Hook. In. Mouth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteM View Post
    The bitching came from a member in Louisiana. I just pointed out he and his state had little to bitch about.

    What I want is better government at all levels (local, state, national); efficient, mindful of ROI, honest, and responsive to its citizens. Pretty sure that's what our Founders wanted as well.

    As for "how much" -- our level of total taxation is about right IMO. On a list of total government spending as a percent of GDP, the US is around #100 out of about 160 countries. We're "low" by world standards, including most first world nations, but apparently "high" by our own (especially and nonsensically in poorer rural "taker" states).

    I'll be happiest when the dollars we spend on such things as health care, infrastructure, education, and defense give us more of the world's healthiest, most productive, best educated, and freest citizens. In all our States.

    Apparently the Founders were wrong.....citizens aren't capable of understanding what they were given. They recognized that government is inherently evil, inherently force....but that it was a necessary evil and a necessary force for men of good will to band together and reap the benefits of a civilized society. They NEVER intended for the centralized monstrosity it has become.
    The Boston Tea Party was fought over a 2% tax rate.....let that sink in. You think it's ABOUT RIGHT.....with all the wretched excess and phony victimhood and handwringing outrage we see daily?

    I think you're wrong...it could be cut by 80% and the nation would be better for it

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    Quote Originally Posted by morganfield52 View Post
    Apparently the Founders were wrong.....citizens aren't capable of understanding what they were given. They recognized that government is inherently evil, inherently force....but that it was a necessary evil and a necessary force for men of good will to band together and reap the benefits of a civilized society. They NEVER intended for the centralized monstrosity it has become.
    The Boston Tea Party was fought over a 2% tax rate.....let that sink in. You think it's ABOUT RIGHT.....with all the wretched excess and phony victimhood and handwringing outrage we see daily?

    I think you're wrong...it could be cut by 80% and the nation would be better for it

    The best thing about wild, uneducated, ignorant, unresearched rantings is that I get to go read some history to make sure my understandings are correct, which in comparison to the above crap, they usually are

    the Tea Party had little to nothing to do with tax on tea, and everything to do with the power to tax, the monopoly given to the East India company, and the cutting out of American merchants


    The colonies did not forsee an interstate highway system, airline travel or any number of things so, no you have no point about 2 percent taxes, and I am not even going to get into large economies and how those taxes mean little



    The tea

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    Quote Originally Posted by morganfield52 View Post
    Apparently the Founders were wrong.....citizens aren't capable of understanding what they were given. They recognized that government is inherently evil, inherently force....but that it was a necessary evil and a necessary force for men of good will to band together and reap the benefits of a civilized society. They NEVER intended for the centralized monstrosity it has become.
    The Boston Tea Party was fought over a 2% tax rate.....let that sink in. You think it's ABOUT RIGHT.....with all the wretched excess and phony victimhood and handwringing outrage we see daily?

    I think you're wrong...it could be cut by 80% and the nation would be better for it
    You might tell us where your "80%" tax cut might come from. In 1775 citizens were the fire department, the well-regulated militias, and the road builders. These days citizens can't fight 100,000 acre fires, defend against North Korean missiles, or repair the Interstate Highway system without forming a government suited to the tasks.

    At the local level, I assume you'd shut down all the town and county roads and schools, fire and police to get your 80% cut?

    At the Federal level, I gather you don't expect anything back from the Social Security and Medicare you've been paying into for all your working life (I'm assuming you've worked)? That's about half the budget. Or maybe the world is such a safe place we can do away with defense? About 75% of our taxes go to just those three items. So, killing off a generation of old folks (who have already paid into the system) and throwing every soldier and military contractor out of work could get you close.

    The rest of the budget pretty much goes to "all the wretched excess and phony victimhood and handwringing outrage (you apparently) see daily?" You know, families trashed by the great recession in Michigan, victims of hurricanes in Texas, fires in Oregon, floods in Florida, support for shooting victims in Las Vegas. A trillion losses of "good" people this year alone. Or, more likely those uppity black families or Puerto Rican citizens you hear about? FWIW, a huge part of the 25% of our budget going to assistance also ends up in the hands of the wealthy -- Trump's tax-free recoveries from various bankruptcies as an example or infrastructure and R&D aiding specific companies. The doubling of debt we saw after the "Great Recession" was pretty much welfare paid by the middle class to too-rich-to-go-to-jail financiers.

    If you thought that much of our money isn't spent well, you'd be right. It's the same story in most all companies as well -- there's usually at least 10% waste to be whittled away. Neither our DOD nor many of our social programs are all that effective. Likely the best money we spend goes to citizens who've paid into Social Security and Medicare for a lifetime -- and spend it helping their grandkids, volunteering and more. That's about half the budget right there.

    If you thought our tax system isn't particularly fair, you'd also be right. Some of the heaviest corporate users of our infrastructure pay little to no taxes.

    But it's amazingly misinformed to think we could cut taxes 80% from current levels. For most of our 300 million, the days of making a life with 40 acres and a mule are long past.

    A nation that wants to be exceptional needs exceptionally cost-effective health care, world class infrastructure, great schools, rule of law, and promises sensibly made and kept with its citizens (e.g. Social Security). Funny thing is most every remotely exceptional country in the world finds that takes investment -- and at a percent of GDP level higher than the US.

    As a percent of GDP, the US is already one of the most fiscally conservative first world nations. The problems we face are more in good and fair governance (and apparently its citizens being at least partly well informed) than in the total taxation rate.

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    Nice post Pete.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteM View Post
    You might tell us where your "80%" tax cut might come from ... Or maybe the world is such a safe place we can do away with defense?
    Yes. I could save 25% right off the bat. Get rid of most of the military. They do more harm than good. Then when they do have an actual chance to "defend freedom" they fail miserably.

    It's like hiring the retarded kid down the street to do your taxes ... dumb, Archie. Dumb dumb dumb.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeaMoss View Post
    Yes. I could save 25% right off the bat. Get rid of most of the military. They do more harm than good. Then when they do have an actual chance to "defend freedom" they fail miserably.

    It's like hiring the retarded kid down the street to do your taxes ... dumb, Archie. Dumb dumb dumb.
    I'm guessing our military spend would be the 25% our "cut 80%" poster would want to keep. At least that's the current budget plan. More money for the military. Tax cuts for wealthy donors, masquerading as tax cuts for everyone. And unlimited storm help for everyone, as long as brown people without food, water, and homes aren't doing the asking. All adding up to an even larger deficit (in reality a tax on the future) paid by those who can ill afford it.

    We've wasted money and lives -- and could and should do better. But also no question, in my mind, that we still want to have an effective military. Maybe write to the pacifists behind these nuclear build ups: Pakistan, Iran, North Korea, Russia ( 217 Russia Military Strength) and China (217 China Military Strength). The last one right down the road and easy to contact? North Korea, as an example, is every bit as much a creation of the Soviet and Chinese military as of the US. Much of Europe now threatened by Putin's government.

    In any case, cut the entire US military and still a long, long way from an 80% cut.

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    Ignorant, worthless, braindead lying crock of shit. How about if I start a blog and write some worthless crap about yourself ?

    Jesus Christ, MJR, grow a brain, please.

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    North Korea is purely and construct of Stalin,
    who invaded after Japan surrendered to end WW2

    and any mischief that it causes suits putin just fine

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    nobody *fought* the Boston Tea party...wasn't a fight.

    Some pissed off dudes ransacked a ship and destroyed the goods...protesters.

    Sounds familiar.

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    Nice reminder, 10K.


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