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Author Topic: Politics of Hillary Clinton's official campaign launch speech
Greg Davidson
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Since there's about a 45% chance she'll be the next President (my wild guess of 90% chance of winning Democratic nomination, 50% chance of winning the general election), what do we think about the effectiveness of these themes? On DailyKos, which includes a faction pretty hostile to Clinton because she is perceived as too corporatist and right-wing, there was broader support than average due to the reference of many issues important to those on the left (with the promise of specifics to follow, as many noted). Without debating the policy aspects on this thread, what do we think of the political ramifications?


quote:
Thank you! Oh, thank you all! Thank you so very, very much.
It is wonderful to be here with all of you.

To be in New York with my family, with so many friends, including many New Yorkers who gave me the honor of serving them in the Senate for eight years.

To be right across the water from the headquarters of the United Nations, where I represented our country many times.

To be here in this beautiful park dedicated to Franklin Roosevelt’s enduring vision of America, the nation we want to be.

And in a place… with absolutely no ceilings.

You know, President Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms are a testament to our nation’s unmatched aspirations and a reminder of our unfinished work at home and abroad. His legacy lifted up a nation and inspired presidents who followed. One is the man I served as Secretary of State, Barack Obama, and another is my husband, Bill Clinton.

Two Democrats guided by the — Oh, that will make him so happy. They were and are two Democrats guided by the fundamental American belief that real and lasting prosperity must be built by all and shared by all.

President Roosevelt called on every American to do his or her part, and every American answered. He said there’s no mystery about what it takes to build a strong and prosperous America: “Equality of opportunity… Jobs for those who can work… Security for those who need it… The ending of special privilege for the few… The preservation of civil liberties for all… a wider and constantly rising standard of living.”

That still sounds good to me.

It’s America’s basic bargain. If you do your part you ought to be able to get ahead. And when everybody does their part, America gets ahead too. That bargain inspired generations of families, including my own. It’s what kept my grandfather going to work in the same Scranton lace mill every day for 50 years.

It’s what led my father to believe that if he scrimped and saved, his small business printing drapery fabric in Chicago could provide us with a middle-class life. And it did.
When President Clinton honored the bargain, we had the longest peacetime expansion in history, a balanced budget, and the first time in decades we all grew together, with the bottom 20 percent of workers increasing their incomes by the same percentage as the top 5 percent.

When President Obama honored the bargain, we pulled back from the brink of Depression, saved the auto industry, provided health care to 16 million working people, and replaced the jobs we lost faster than after a financial crash. But, it’s not 1941, or 1993, or even 2009. We face new challenges in our economy and our democracy.

We’re still working our way back from a crisis that happened because time-tested values were replaced by false promises.

Instead of an economy built by every American, for every American, we were told that if we let those at the top pay lower taxes and bend the rules, their success would trickle down to everyone else.

What happened?

Well, instead of a balanced budget with surpluses that could have eventually paid off our national debt, the Republicans twice cut taxes for the wealthiest, borrowed money from other countries to pay for two wars, and family incomes dropped. You know where we ended up.

Except it wasn’t the end.

As we have since our founding, Americans made a new beginning.

You worked extra shifts, took second jobs, postponed home repairs… you figured out how to make it work. And now people are beginning to think about their future again – going to college, starting a business, buying a house, finally being able to put away something for retirement.

So we’re standing again. But, we all know we’re not yet running the way America should.
You see corporations making record profits, with CEOs making record pay, but your paychecks have barely budged.

While many of you are working multiple jobs to make ends meet, you see the top 25 hedge fund managers making more than all of America’s kindergarten teachers combined. And, often paying a lower tax rate.

So, you have to wonder: “When does my hard work pay off? When does my family get ahead?”

“When?” I say now.

Prosperity can’t be just for CEOs and hedge fund managers. Democracy can’t be just for billionaires and corporations. Prosperity and democracy are part of your basic bargain too. You brought our country back.

Now it’s time — your time to secure the gains and move ahead.

And, you know what? America can’t succeed unless you succeed. That is why I am running for President of the United States.

Here, on Roosevelt Island, I believe we have a continuing rendezvous with destiny. Each American and the country we cherish. I’m running to make our economy work for you and for every American. For the successful and the struggling. For the innovators and inventors. For those breaking barriers in technology and discovering cures for diseases.
For the factory workers and food servers who stand on their feet all day. For the nurses who work the night shift. For the truckers who drive for hours and the farmers who feed us. For the veterans who served our country. For the small business owners who took a risk. For everyone who’s ever been knocked down, but refused to be knocked out. I’m not running for some Americans, but for all Americans.

Our country’s challenges didn’t begin with the Great Recession and they won’t end with the recovery. For decades, Americans have been buffeted by powerful currents.
Advances in technology and the rise of global trade have created whole new areas of economic activity and opened new markets for our exports, but they have also displaced jobs and undercut wages for millions of Americans.

The financial industry and many multi-national corporations have created huge wealth for a few by focusing too much on short-term profit and too little on long-term value… too much on complex trading schemes and stock buybacks, too little on investments in new businesses, jobs, and fair compensation.

Our political system is so paralyzed by gridlock and dysfunction that most Americans have lost confidence that anything can actually get done. And they’ve lost trust in the ability of both government and Big Business to change course.

Now, we can blame historic forces beyond our control for some of this, but the choices we’ve made as a nation, leaders and citizens alike, have also played a big role.
Our next President must work with Congress and every other willing partner across our entire country. And I will do just that — to turn the tide so these currents start working for us more than against us.

At our best, that’s what Americans do. We’re problem solvers, not deniers. We don’t hide from change, we harness it. But we can’t do that if we go back to the top-down economic policies that failed us before. Americans have come too far to see our progress ripped away.

Now, there may be some new voices in the presidential Republican choir, but they’re all singing the same old song… A song called “Yesterday.” You know the one — all our troubles look as though they’re here to stay… and we need a place to hide away… They believe in yesterday. And you’re lucky I didn’t try singing that, too, I’ll tell you!
These Republicans trip over themselves promising lower taxes for the wealthy and fewer rules for the biggest corporations without regard for how that will make income inequality even worse.

We’ve heard this tune before. And we know how it turns out.

Ask many of these candidates about climate change, one of the defining threats of our time, and they’ll say: “I’m not a scientist.” Well, then, why don’t they start listening to those who are?

They pledge to wipe out tough rules on Wall Street, rather than rein in the banks that are still too risky, courting future failures. In a case that can only be considered mass amnesia.

They want to take away health insurance from more than 16 million Americans without offering any credible alternative.

They shame and blame women, rather than respect our right to make our own reproductive health decisions.

They want to put immigrants, who work hard and pay taxes, at risk of deportation.
And they turn their backs on gay people who love each other.

Fundamentally, they reject what it takes to build an inclusive economy. It takes an inclusive society. What I once called “a village” that has a place for everyone.
Now, my values and a lifetime of experiences have given me a different vision for America.

I believe that success isn’t measured by how much the wealthiest Americans have, but by how many children climb out of poverty…

How many start-ups and small businesses open and thrive…

How many young people go to college without drowning in debt…

How many people find a good job…

How many families get ahead and stay ahead.

I didn’t learn this from politics. I learned it from my own family.
My mother taught me that everybody needs a chance and a champion. She knew what it was like not to have either one.

Her own parents abandoned her, and by 14 she was out on her own, working as a housemaid. Years later, when I was old enough to understand, I asked what kept her going.

You know what her answer was? Something very simple: Kindness from someone who believed she mattered.

The 1st grade teacher who saw she had nothing to eat at lunch and, without embarrassing her, brought extra food to share. The woman whose house she cleaned letting her go to high school so long as her work got done. That was a bargain she leapt to accept. And, because some people believed in her, she believed in me.

That’s why I believe with all my heart in America and in the potential of every American.
To meet every challenge. To be resilient… no matter what the world throws at you. To solve the toughest problems. I believe we can do all these things because I’ve seen it happen.

As a young girl, I signed up at my Methodist Church to babysit the children of Mexican farmworkers, while their parents worked in the fields on the weekends. And later, as a law student, I advocated for Congress to require better working and living conditions for farm workers whose children deserved better opportunities.

My first job out of law school was for the Children’s Defense Fund. I walked door-to-door to find out how many children with disabilities couldn’t go to school, and to help build the case for a law guaranteeing them access to education. As a leader of the Legal Services Corporation, I defended the right of poor people to have a lawyer. And saw lives changed because an abusive marriage ended or an illegal eviction stopped.

In Arkansas, I supervised law students who represented clients in courts and prisons, organized scholarships for single parents going to college, led efforts for better schools and health care, and personally knew the people whose lives were improved.

As Senator, I had the honor of representing brave firefighters, police officers, EMTs, construction workers, and volunteers who ran toward danger on 9/11 and stayed there, becoming sick themselves.

It took years of effort, but Congress finally approved the health care they needed.
There are so many faces and stories that I carry with me of people who gave their best and then needed help themselves.

Just weeks ago, I met another person like that, a single mom juggling a job and classes at community college, while raising three kids. She doesn’t expect anything to come easy. But she did ask me: What more can be done so it isn’t quite so hard for families like hers? I want to be her champion and your champion. If you’ll give me the chance, I’ll wage and win Four Fights for you.

The first is to make the economy work for everyday Americans, not just those at the top.
To make the middle class mean something again, with rising incomes and broader horizons. And to give the poor a chance to work their way into it.

The middle class needs more growth and more fairness. Growth and fairness go together. For lasting prosperity, you can’t have one without the other.

Is this possible in today’s world? I believe it is or I wouldn’t be standing here. Do I think it will be easy? Of course not.

But, here’s the good news: There are allies for change everywhere who know we can’t stand by while inequality increases, wages stagnate, and the promise of America dims. We should welcome the support of all Americans who want to go forward together with us.

There are public officials who know Americans need a better deal. Business leaders who want higher pay for employees, equal pay for women and no discrimination against the LGBT community either. There are leaders of finance who want less short-term trading and more long-term investing.

There are union leaders who are investing their own pension funds in putting people to work to build tomorrow’s economy. We need everyone to come to the table and work with us.

In the coming weeks, I’ll propose specific policies to:

Reward businesses who invest in long term value rather than the quick buck – because that leads to higher growth for the economy, higher wages for workers, and yes, bigger profits, everybody will have a better time.

I will rewrite the tax code so it rewards hard work and investments here at home, not quick trades or stashing profits overseas.

I will give new incentives to companies that give their employees a fair share of the profits their hard work earns.

We will unleash a new generation of entrepreneurs and small business owners by providing tax relief, cutting red tape, and making it easier to get a small business loan.
We will restore America to the cutting edge of innovation, science, and research by increasing both public and private investments.

And we will make America the clean energy superpower of the 21st century. Developing renewable power – wind, solar, advanced biofuels… Building cleaner power plants, smarter electric grids, greener buildings… Using additional fees and royalties from fossil fuel extraction to protect the environment… And ease the transition for distressed communities to a more diverse and sustainable economic future from coal country to Indian country, from small towns in the Mississippi Delta to the Rio Grande Valley to our inner cities, we have to help our fellow Americans. Now, this will create millions of jobs and countless new businesses, and enable America to lead the global fight against climate change.

We will also connect workers to their jobs and businesses. Customers will have a better chance to actually get where they need and get what they desire with roads, railways, bridges, airports, ports, and broadband brought up to global standards for the 21st century.

We will establish an infrastructure bank and sell bonds to pay for some of these improvements.

Now, building an economy for tomorrow also requires investing in our most important asset, our people, beginning with our youngest. That’s why I will propose that we make preschool and quality childcare available to every child in America.

And I want you to remember this, because to me, this is absolutely the most-compelling argument why we should do this. Research tells us how much early learning in the first five years of life can impact lifelong success. In fact, 80 percent of the brain is developed by age three.

One thing I’ve learned is that talent is universal – you can find it anywhere – but opportunity is not. Too many of our kids never have the chance to learn and thrive as they should and as we need them to.

Our country won’t be competitive or fair if we don’t help more families give their kids the best possible start in life. So let’s staff our primary and secondary schools with teachers who are second to none in the world, and receive the respect they deserve for sparking the love of learning in every child. Let’s make college affordable and available to all …and lift the crushing burden of student debt.

Let’s provide lifelong learning for workers to gain or improve skills the economy requires, setting up many more Americans for success.

Now, the second fight is to strengthen America’s families, because when our families are strong, America is strong. And today’s families face new and unique pressures. Parents need more support and flexibility to do their job at work and at home. I believe you should have the right to earn paid sick days. I believe you should receive your work schedule with enough notice to arrange childcare or take college courses to get ahead.
I believe you should look forward to retirement with confidence, not anxiety.

That you should have the peace of mind that your health care will be there when you need it, without breaking the bank.

I believe we should offer paid family leave so no one has to choose between keeping a paycheck and caring for a new baby or a sick relative.

And it is way past time to end the outrage of so many women still earning less than men on the job — and women of color often making even less.

This isn’t a women’s issue. It’s a family issue. Just like raising the minimum wage is a family issue. Expanding childcare is a family issue. Declining marriage rates is a family issue. The unequal rates of incarceration is a family issue. Helping more people with an addiction or a mental health problem get help is a family issue.

In America, every family should feel like they belong.

So we should offer hard-working, law-abiding immigrant families a path to citizenship. Not second-class status.

And, we should ban discrimination against LGBT Americans and their families so they can live, learn, marry, and work just like everybody else.

You know, America’s diversity, our openness, our devotion to human rights and freedom is what’s drawn so many to our shores. What’s inspired people all over the world. I know.

I’ve seen it with my own eyes.

And these are also qualities that prepare us well for the demands of a world that is more interconnected than ever before.

So we have a third fight: to harness all of America’s power, smarts, and values to maintain our leadership for peace, security, and prosperity.

No other country on Earth is better positioned to thrive in the 21st century. No other country is better equipped to meet traditional threats from countries like Russia, North Korea, and Iran – and to deal with the rise of new powers like China.

No other country is better prepared to meet emerging threats from cyber attacks, transnational terror networks like ISIS, and diseases that spread across oceans and continents.

As your President, I’ll do whatever it takes to keep Americans safe.
And if you look over my left shoulder you can see the new World Trade Center soaring skyward.

As a Senator from New York, I dedicated myself to getting our city and state the help we needed to recover. And as a member of the Armed Services Committee, I worked to maintain the best-trained, best-equipped, strongest military, ready for today’s threats and tomorrow’s.

And when our brave men and women come home from war or finish their service, I’ll see to it that they get not just the thanks of a grateful nation, but the care and benefits they’ve earned.

I’ve stood up to adversaries like Putin and reinforced allies like Israel. I was in the Situation Room on the day we got bin Laden.

But, I know — I know we have to be smart as well as strong.

Meeting today’s global challenges requires every element of America’s power, including skillful diplomacy, economic influence, and building partnerships to improve lives around the world with people, not just their governments.

There are a lot of trouble spots in the world, but there’s a lot of good news out there too.
I believe the future holds far more opportunities than threats if we exercise creative and confident leadership that enables us to shape global events rather than be shaped by them.

And we all know that in order to be strong in the world, though, we first have to be strong at home. That’s why we have to win the fourth fight – reforming our government and revitalizing our democracy so that it works for everyday Americans.

We have to stop the endless flow of secret, unaccountable money that is distorting our elections, corrupting our political process, and drowning out the voices of our people.
We need Justices on the Supreme Court who will protect every citizen’s right to vote, rather than every corporation’s right to buy elections.

If necessary, I will support a constitutional amendment to undo the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United.

I want to make it easier for every citizen to vote. That’s why I’ve proposed universal, automatic registration and expanded early voting.

I’ll fight back against Republican efforts to disempower and disenfranchise young people, poor people, people with disabilities, and people of color.

What part of democracy are they afraid of?

No matter how easy we make it to vote, we still have to give Americans something worth voting for.

Government is never going to have all the answers – but it has to be smarter, simpler, more efficient, and a better partner.

That means access to advanced technology so government agencies can more effectively serve their customers, the American people.

We need expertise and innovation from the private sector to help cut waste and streamline services.

There’s so much that works in America. For every problem we face, someone somewhere in America is solving it. Silicon Valley cracked the code on sharing and scaling a while ago. Many states are pioneering new ways to deliver services. I want to help Washington catch up.

To do that, we need a political system that produces results by solving problems that hold us back, not one overwhelmed by extreme partisanship and inflexibility.
Now, I’ll always seek common ground with friend and opponent alike. But I’ll also stand my ground when I must.

That’s something I did as Senator and Secretary of State — whether it was working with Republicans to expand health care for children and for our National Guard, or improve our foster care and adoption system, or pass a treaty to reduce the number of Russian nuclear warheads that could threaten our cities — and it’s something I will always do as your President.

We Americans may differ, bicker, stumble, and fall; but we are at our best when we pick each other up, when we have each other’s back.

Like any family, our American family is strongest when we cherish what we have in common, and fight back against those who would drive us apart.

People all over the world have asked me: “How could you and President Obama work together after you fought so hard against each other in that long campaign?”
Now, that is an understandable question considering that in many places, if you lose an election you could get imprisoned or exiled – even killed – not hired as Secretary of State.

But President Obama asked me to serve, and I accepted because we both love our country. That’s how we do it in America.

With that same spirit, together, we can win these four fights.

We can build an economy where hard work is rewarded.

We can strengthen our families.

We can defend our country and increase our opportunities all over the world.

And we can renew the promise of our democracy.

If we all do our part. In our families, in our businesses, unions, houses of worship, schools, and, yes, in the voting booth.

I want you to join me in this effort. Help me build this campaign and make it your own.

Talk to your friends, your family, your neighbors.

Text “JOIN” J-O-I-N to 4-7-2-4-6.

Go to hillaryclinton.com and sign up to make calls and knock on doors.

It’s no secret that we’re going up against some pretty powerful forces that will do and spend whatever it takes to advance a very different vision for America. But I’ve spent my life fighting for children, families, and our country. And I’m not stopping now.

You know, I know how hard this job is. I’ve seen it up close and personal.

All our Presidents come into office looking so vigorous. And then we watch their hair grow grayer and grayer. Well, I may not be the youngest candidate in this race. But I will be the youngest woman President in the history of the United States!

And the first grandmother as well.

And one additional advantage: You’re won’t see my hair turn white in the White House. I’ve been coloring it for years!

So I’m looking forward to a great debate among Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. I’m not running to be a President only for those Americans who already agree with me. I want to be a President for all Americans.

And along the way, I’ll just let you in on this little secret. I won’t get everything right. Lord knows I’ve made my share of mistakes. Well, there’s no shortage of people pointing them out!

And I certainly haven’t won every battle I’ve fought. But leadership means perseverance and hard choices. You have to push through the setbacks and disappointments and keep at it.

I think you know by now that I’ve been called many things by many people — “quitter” is not one of them.

Like so much else in my life, I got this from my mother.

When I was a girl, she never let me back down from any bully or barrier. In her later years, Mom lived with us, and she was still teaching me the same lessons. I’d come home from a hard day at the Senate or the State Department, sit down with her at the small table in our breakfast nook, and just let everything pour out. And she would remind me why we keep fighting, even when the odds are long and the opposition is fierce.

I can still hear her saying: “Life’s not about what happens to you, it’s about what you do with what happens to you – so get back out there.”

She lived to be 92 years old, and I often think about all the battles she witnessed over the course of the last century — all the progress that was won because Americans refused to give up or back down.

She was born on June 4, 1919 — before women in America had the right to vote. But on that very day, after years of struggle, Congress passed the Constitutional Amendment that would change that forever.

The story of America is a story of hard-fought, hard-won progress. And it continues today. New chapters are being written by men and women who believe that all of us – not just some, but all – should have the chance to live up to our God-given potential.
Not only because we’re a tolerant country, or a generous country, or a compassionate country, but because we’re a better, stronger, more prosperous country when we harness the talent, hard work, and ingenuity of every single American.

I wish my mother could have been with us longer. I wish she could have seen Chelsea become a mother herself. I wish she could have met Charlotte.

I wish she could have seen the America we’re going to build together.

An America, where if you do your part, you reap the rewards.

Where we don’t leave anyone out, or anyone behind.

An America where a father can tell his daughter: yes, you can be anything you want to be. Even President of the United States.

Thank you all. God bless you. And may God bless America.


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Fenring
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As I mentioned once in a another thread, I think the political ramifications will amount to increased Republican rhetoric against her and the Democrats (if that's possible. maybe they'll just call her "literally Hitler").

Other than the partisan political angle I think her Presidency would change essentially nothing. She is obviously another Good Party Member and will maintain the status quo without fail. For those who want that they will probably enjoy her Presidency.

As Greg requested I won't discuss her policy in this thread, but I will mention offhand that three of the last four lines of her speech are more or less outright lies.

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Greg Davidson
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They are outright lies, but more in the socially acceptable "Your baby is beautiful" way then more explicit policy lies.

I was just at a high school graduation and a speaker said the usual "you can be anything you want to be", and I'd so like to hear the opposite, realistic speech.

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
They are outright lies, but more in the socially acceptable "Your baby is beautiful" way then more explicit policy lies.

I was just at a high school graduation and a speaker said the usual "you can be anything you want to be", and I'd so like to hear the opposite, realistic speech.

The opposite speech would actually be useful to the students. It would possibly be in the form of "There are only so many good jobs in America, and the rest are crap. If you don't work hard you will be stuck in an office cubicle for the rest of your life, or worse. You can't all succeed, so make sure to do better than everyone else. Your dreams have a good chance of failing so have a backup."

I see what you mean about the lines in the speech being lies in a sort of optimistic way, but I actually meant also that they are lies as regards the main thesis of her speech (everyone's hard work makes the country great) and how the thesis in undermined by her financial connections. The institutions that support her, and which we assume she likewise supports, are in the business of making sure everyone does not reap the rewards of their labor.

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Rafi
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"We have to stop the flow of secret unaccountable money..."

Very nearly the entire thing is a lie.

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Greg Davidson
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Rafi, are you arguing that we don't need to stop the flow of secret unaccountable money?
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Rafi
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[Roll Eyes]
Of corse not. You're straining so hard to be obtuse that you're liable to hurt yourself!

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Greg Davidson
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If you say what you actually mean, that aids communication. Also, it forces you to commit to specifIcs that can be refuted where they are unsubstantiated. Being clear should not hinder your argument if you actually have a clear argument to make.
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scifibum
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The politics of her speech are pretty much my politics. It's much harder to believe that she'll fulfill these promises than to agree with her statements.

One major problem is that she can't solve the gridlock and obstructionism thing by herself, and Republicans will do everything they can to block almost everything she proposed. She can't control the messages that will matter to the people who vote for those lawmakers, so that won't be changing very soon.

But she's also just part of the same old system, connected in the same ways, and isn't a true believer, just a politician.

I do think her speech is calculated to keep Bernie Sanders from stealing the nomination. She's moving a bit left now, and will move back to the center in the election.

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NobleHunter
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And she'll likely move to the right in her Presidency.

It's probably more accurate to say she wants to stop secret and unnaccountable money flowing to Republicans. But maybe I'm just being cynical.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I do think her speech is calculated to keep Bernie Sanders from stealing the nomination.
Oh, God, yes. I think the question is whether any potential Sanders voters think she has any credibility on this. And, honestly, if she meant a word of it, I would actually expect her to be apologizing more profusely for failing to live up to those ideals.
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KidTokyo
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quote:
I do think her speech is calculated to keep Bernie Sanders from stealing the nomination. She's moving a bit left now, and will move back to the center in the election.
Exactly. She offers nothing of substance, no real commitments.

Fenring, there is no reason for anyone to have to accept a crap cubicle job they hate. It's forced on us by the corporate world. A genuinely helpful platform in this regard would involve drastic financial decentralization -- the reduction or end of government support for overlarge financial institutions. Couple this with tax policies that encourage employee ownership of business. We would not need "big government" to solve the problems caused by "big business" if the government stopped cultivating big business.

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Fenring
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KidTokyo,

I don't know if you're talking about idealism or reality. Telling kids what they can realistically expect shouldn't be confused with that reality being changeable with huge overhauls in corporate structure. But don't forget that office/cubicle jobs don't exist because the government has colluded with companies to have workers do office work; they exist because it's work that needs doing and cubicles have been found to be efficient. Maybe you prefer open concept offices, but I don't see what bearing that has on telling young people that there are finite good jobs and that if they don't excel in all likelihood they won't get one. If there are X jobs of a tedious nature that need doing, those jobs won't go away just because you think people can do better. On the individual level they can; on the aggregate they can't. These are the jobs that need doing.

If literally every human being in America increased their effort and level of education by the exact same amount simultaneously, there would be no shift in positions, income or available jobs. The jobs are the jobs, and if you haven't changed your relative attractiveness (or connections) compared to other candidates nothing changes. This is why my suggestion of the "honest speech" would tell kids they should expect nothing unless they overcome their peers. This isn't a nice message, but when you hear someone like Hillary tell the opposite message it's worse than mere BS, it is the attempt to pass along a false vision of reality; i.e. propaganda.

[ June 15, 2015, 02:58 PM: Message edited by: Fenring ]

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KidTokyo
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quote:
But don't forget that office/cubicle jobs don't exist because the government has colluded with companies to have workers do office work; they exist because it's work that needs doing and cubicles have been found to be efficient.
Actually, government collusion is the primary reason why businesses grow larger and larger and workers grow less powerful, leading to "cubicle culture" if you. Informing young people that the powers that be thrive only on the complacency of workers who accept that things "just are" and that they cannot perpetuate the status quo with an informed an active populace is exactly what young people should be told. Not that HC is saying that.

As a side note, the notion that cubicles increase business efficiency is itself highly questionable. I know that at least in Japan they are not used at all except in rare circumstances -- most offices are "open" with an unobstructed view of workstations.

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KidTokyo
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quote:
f there are X jobs of a tedious nature that need doing, those jobs won't go away just because you think people can do better. On the individual level they can; on the aggregate they can't. These are the jobs that need doing.
There is no question that there is work that "needs doing." What makes those jobs unpleasant is not that there is work to be done but that the employee is expected to be and is trained to be an unthinking cog. While a business entity has an aggregate task to perform, the possibilities for delegating work and arranging a hierarchy (if any) or a power structure vertically or horizontally are nearly endless -- it does not require the centralized command/control approach currently used.

No doubt we need the internet and digital cable and that providers must have customer service reps. Do such employees have to work according to a script, as they do now, with no power for discretion and individual authority? That is what makes those jobs so awful -- you have no authority and no independence.

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scifibum
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quote:
As a side note, the notion that cubicles increase business efficiency is itself highly questionable. I know that at least in Japan they are not used at all except in rare circumstances -- most offices are "open" with an unobstructed view of workstations.
It's commonly accepted in my industry that open office plans are better than cubicles. Much to the dismay of people who prefer less interaction and noise.
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Fenring
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How about the fact that the tasks involves are simply boring, that you are frequently disenfranchised from the products of your labor, that you have no personal stake in the outcome of the company, and that increase caring is frequently not only useless but actually can be detrimental to your ability to do your job? Some jobs are simply and repetitious. Having people 'taking initiative' when what's really needed is accuracy and following orders is not helpful to an administration.

I understand what you're saying, Kid, but that's just not reality right now. Most jobs are boring or at the very least not rewarding on a personal level. I don't see what can change that for the moment. "You can be anything you want to be" is a lie in any context, but coming from a 'cheerleader' it could be seen as motivating. Coming from someone who actively participates in efforts to keep the masses in their place - "propaganda" would be one of the friendlier words I could choose.

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KidTokyo
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quote:
How about the fact that the tasks involves are simply boring, that you are frequently disenfranchised from the products of your labor, that you have no personal stake in the outcome of the company, and that increase caring is frequently not only useless but actually can be detrimental to your ability to do your job? Some jobs are simply and repetitious.
I agree with all of the above. I'm simply pointing out that the reason most jobs are boring is because of all the problems you list after the word "boring", and that none of these conditions are necessary for doing the job. I am saying this as someone who has worked as an adult in a very wide range of full-time professions, everything from manual labor to customer service (both as worker and supervisor) up to my current incarnation as an attorney.

The totalitarianism of the corporate world is not in any way necessary.

quote:
"You can be anything you want to be" is a lie in any context, but coming from a 'cheerleader' it could be seen as motivating. Coming from someone who actively participates in efforts to keep the masses in their place - "propaganda" would be one of the friendlier words I could choose.
I agree completely. Do you think I am defending Hillary? She can go to hell. My actual post was more or less aiming at the same point you make here.
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scifibum
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Fenring, I think if large corporations simply didn't exist, the specialization and thus boringness of office jobs would be reduced. This wouldn't get rid of all repetitive work, but the average indoor worker might end up with more variety.
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
Fenring, I think if large corporations simply didn't exist, the specialization and thus boringness of office jobs would be reduced. This wouldn't get rid of all repetitive work, but the average indoor worker might end up with more variety.

Perhaps so. I have thought of a lot of business and labor models that might be interesting. But the intermediary step between what we have now and between that is a huge one, and probably not just one step. It would be fun to talk about all the nice ways life would be better without corporatism / government collusion / elitism / corruption ///etc etc etc. I think about those things.

I agree with you and KidTokyo, all I'm addressing is my reply to Greg about the 'more honest' message to America would have to be somewhat pessimistic at present. The future always has possibilities; but for now it would not be honest to suggest that most students are going to end up in jobs they enjoy or that are rewarding. This isn't even necessarily a pessimistic message in itself; the idea that work should 'feel good' is probably very modern and arguably not the most important issue to address. What is more distressing than work being tedious is the thought - on top of it - that it's all for nothing, moving the world toward no better place. One can endure tedium if one can ascribe hope or nobility to it. But knowing that most hard work benefits few and that those few tend to actively try to make the world a worse place - that can be very defeating to realize.

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scifibum
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Gotcha - wasn't sure if you realized that Kid is actually advocating for some of those big changes and thinks one way to get one step closer is to, you know, tell these kids why things are the way they are and what's necessary to make it different.
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Rafi
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
If you say what you actually mean, that aids communication. Also, it forces you to commit to specifIcs that can be refuted where they are unsubstantiated. Being clear should not hinder your argument if you actually have a clear argument to make.

It is obvious what my point is, painfully so. I cannot believe that any reasonably intelligent person would misunderstand so , since I will assume you are one, I'm wondering just what your game is.
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TomDavidson
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Dance!
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Greg Davidson
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Rafi, I find argumentation thru insinuation is not very meaningful - you can't refute what doesn't get said. My guess is that you actually do believe in what Clinton was saying, but you see her as tainted and thus unable to even be credited for speaking the truth when she does so. And maybe you see her as being tainted because of her husband's foundation, or maybe you are making your judgements based on a fetish for White Water land deals in Arkansas 40 years ago. But unless you make your arguments clear, we are all just guessing.
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Greg Davidson
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I fundamentally disagree with the following premise (and/or the term "government collusion" is misleading):

quote:
government collusion is the primary reason why businesses grow larger and larger and workers grow less powerful
The relative power of workers started growing over 100 years ago with the growth of government involvement in the economy under TR; the relative power of workers started declining with the election of President Reagan in 1980. The root cause of the relative decline in the power of workers is the anti-government sentiment funded by Corporations and finding its political expression in the Republican Party for the past two generations.

Maybe we are in agreement if you replace the term "government collusion" with something more like "corporate subjugation of government". But government inof itself is not the cause of worker disempowerment, at least historically it has been the primary way that the economic playing field has been leveled for workers relative to more powerful corporate interests.

[ June 16, 2015, 01:36 AM: Message edited by: Greg Davidson ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
My guess is that you actually do believe in what Clinton was saying...
IIRC, G# endorsed the Citizens United decision, so I don't believe he's all that opposed to shadowy money.
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Greg Davidson
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Oh, is Rafi G#?
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KidTokyo
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Greg,

quote:
The relative power of workers started growing over 100 years ago with the growth of government involvement in the economy under TR; the relative power of workers started declining with the election of President Reagan in 1980. The root cause of the relative decline in the power of workers is the anti-government sentiment funded by Corporations and finding its political expression in the Republican Party for the past two generations.
This point is both inapposite and flatly wrong.

Inapposite, because I wasn't casting back 100 years.

But flatly wrong (since you brought it up) because 1) there is nothing "anti-government" about any big businesses - they literally could not operate without massive government assistance in reducing their transaction costs, which is the purpose behind most economic legislation of which they and their lobbies are the principle authors. They enjoy huge privileges in the form of government grants, investment, charters, and entity status, and have spend the last 100 years securing legislation to solidify and centralize a monopsistic control of the market and suppress competition from below -- this is all very well demonstrated with direct documentary evidence in dozens of works, the most famous being Gabriel Kolko's

2) the relative power of workers started declining about 120 years ago with the growth of the industrial revolution, driven by centralized finance, and abundance of what was then termed "wage slavery" (a central complaint of the republican party platform in that era). States passed extensive legislation in the late 19th century and early 20th protecting workers to compensate for the trend, and these state laws were overturned in literally hundreds of court cases brought before the "freedom of contract" and "laissez-faire" activist judges in federal courts, a trend which continued well into the 20's and 30's. Worker rights did not catch up with industry again until after WW2, when the country was in a very uncharacteristic mood, and the next decline occurred barely a few heartbeats later -- long before Reagan.

[ June 16, 2015, 12:06 PM: Message edited by: KidTokyo ]

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KidTokyo
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And actually I would have to add 3) Orwellian "free trade agreements" championed by Democrats as well as Republicans have done more to accelerate the damage to worker's rights than anything that happened under Reagan.

I will grant you Greg that corporations and Republicans like to foster anti-government "sentiment" among the general public, but that is self-serving hokum. Big business is the primary driver of government growth, and government is the primary driver of corporate growth. They enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship (with the occasional dust-up) and they collaborate as a matter of established routine to suppress competition and democracy.

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Fenring
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Kid, it is probably indisputable that government did take actions to facilitate certain industries in becoming mega-companies, such as happened in the rail and oil industries. But you seem to be making the claim that without government there would be no gigantic powerful companies (I won't use the word corporations since obviously government created the platform for that classification). Do you have some kind of evidence, historical or otherwise, that this is true? Everything that I see historically tells me that money always becomes centralized sooner or later, whether due to use of force, reputation, accumulation and leveraging of assets, or alliance/cartel. If anything government has taken steps to prevent the existence of outright cartels, the exceptions being in the financial sector, and even that was a gradual process.

There is no denying that laws like the anti-trust laws are very suspect and likely used in crooked ways, but at any rate companies right now cannot form avowed cartels or monopolies.

As an example, in your opinion did Microsoft only become a monolith due to government aid, favors and special status? It seems to me that they succeeded as a result of marketing, shrewd integration of their products, and partnership with IBM for several years. Once their name was made they snowballed it into a virtual monopoly. I could claim the same thing for Apple, which has had its ups and downs historically. How can their success be attributed to government? How about Google?

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KidTokyo
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Fenring:

quote:
But you seem to be making the claim that without government there would be no gigantic powerful companies
Yes.

quote:
I won't use the word corporations since obviously government created the platform for that classification
This is over-complicated. The government creates corporations, period. A corporation's definitive features are contractual duties and restrictions on liability that could not be enforced without the government. Going back to their earliest days, many centuries ago, corporations are essentially pseudo-governmental entities.

To be clear, I do not propose abolishing them -- just bringing them under the same democratic control as the government should itself be limited by.

quote:
Do you have some kind of evidence, historical or otherwise, that this is true?
The history of corporate law. I can't think of an example of where it isn't true. Hard to elaborate on something I am familiar with in such detail, in a short period of time. If you study corporate law over the last 200 years, its a mundane fact, like the plumbing in your house.

quote:
Everything that I see historically tells me that money always becomes centralized sooner or later, whether due to use of force, reputation, accumulation and leveraging of assets, or alliance/cartel.
It becomes centralized by government action. Sometimes, its the corporation itself that becomes a de-facto government, but every famous example you could name arose from business entities that were given privileged status by the government.

quote:
If anything government has taken steps to prevent the existence of outright cartels, the exceptions being in the financial sector, and even that was a gradual process.
Neither gradual, nor an exception. Wall street gained power rather rapidly at the end of the 19th century. Once it did, it was no longer distinct and extricable from the rest of the corporate sector, since the mania for M&A was driven by centralized finance.

quote:
As an example, in your opinion did Microsoft only become a monolith due to government aid, favors and special status? It seems to me that they succeeded as a result of marketing, shrewd integration of their products, and partnership with IBM for several years. Once their name was made they snowballed it into a virtual monopoly. I could claim the same thing for Apple, which has had its ups and downs historically. How can their success be attributed to government? How about Google?
I don't deny their shrewdness, nor even the quality of their products, but they are resting upon a century of legal precedent invented by corporate lawyers regarding intellectual property and what is or is not monopoly and/or price fixing, not to mention deeply entrenched legal principles about fiduciary duties to investors and corporate management -- all of which are actively policed and enforced by the government, as is all trade in stock and bonds (the policing of which is monstrously expensive but necessary to minimize fraud aka. inefficiency). So these companies have been very shrewd at making use of a vast array of tools which the government provides them.

I am simply making the observation here without urging pro or con at this point.

[ June 16, 2015, 03:12 PM: Message edited by: KidTokyo ]

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by KidTokyo:
I am simply making the observation here without urging pro or con at this point.

I understand. I guess I have to just say I fundamentally disagree. People will always find a way to gain an advantage and leverage it maximally. Check out any MMO with an in-game currency system and you'll find countless people trying to break the system, and some succeeding marvelously. And these systems, however initially simple, were designed by programmers who legitimately and without bias wanted a fair and functional system to make for a fun game experience. Now imagine how people in the real world will succeed, in systems that are not designed as such, and that don't have mod interference to just reset bad results.

I don't believe that there is a way in any open-ended system to prevent 'breaking the game' unless you introduce tyrannical 'mod presence' where undue success can just be cancelled. The fact that corporate law or government aid has been the platform for corporations to thrive doesn't seem to me to suggest the counterfactual claim that without government they wouldn't have been able to do this some other way. It's too strong a claim, and I think human nature speaks against the likelihood of this being the case.

And my point here revolves only around individual people trying to 'win the game', so to speak, using any means available, and doesn't even get into the notion of covert alliances or long-term goals shared among private parties competing cooperatively. I don't see how there's any legal or effective means of stopping people from making deals in private that will benefit and elevate them above the competition. You can say this kind of collusion is "illegal", but this is only true within certain specific parameters and is in any case unenforceable. Cooperative competition in itself undermines the whole notion of the free market system and there's really no remedy for it. The government may facilitate this but even without co-opting government companies could still agree to help each other to secure control of a sector and keep upstarts out.

I could also bring up the fact that anti-trust laws and laws against things like price fixing and cartels could be argued to be government interference of the market as well, just of another variety. Once you allow in government to 'regulate the market' the question simply becomes whom they choose to advantage with the interfering laws.

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KidTokyo
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quote:
I understand. I guess I have to just say I fundamentally disagree. People will always find a way to gain an advantage and leverage it maximally.
Functionally, I don't think you disagree with me at all. I don't think I ever claimed, nor would I, that people don't find a way to gain advantage and leverage a system. I'm just filling in the details on how it happens in the macro-economic realm. I would submit though that the currency system of an MMO (granted I know next to nothing about this) is enforced by game administrators whose financial interests are opposed to hackers. So right there, in that artificial world, is a top-down control of banking and currency valuation, as happens in the real world. I'm guess that, as a result of the MMO admins' financial interests, they crack down on hackers who create their own currency valuations, or who counterfeit, or create new currency. There are probably also game rules about who gets to own a virtual bank and the rules for doing so. Am I wrong? Not that it matters, since I'm taking about what generally happens in the real world, where these realities are not really controversial.

quote:
The fact that corporate law or government aid has been the platform for corporations to thrive doesn't seem to me to suggest the counterfactual claim that without government they wouldn't have been able to do this some other way. It's too strong a claim, and I think human nature speaks against the likelihood of this being the case.
One wonders, then, by business owners continually lobby for such privileges? The best way to respond here is with specifics. Corporations, like any government entity, may or may not be subject to democratic controls. A corporation's authority to act comes from its charter, granted by the state. It literally means that the state has passed a power obstensibly reserved to the state to the corporation. Early American corporations had charters that were time-limited and task-limited. Their primary function was to organize expensive and technically complex public works project like bridges and tunnels, and later mines and factories given a state-subsidized monopoly. Only later did they acquire immortality and the right to operate with "any legal business purpose."

Wal-mart started as a private non-corporate entity and was able to create a few dozen stores. As a publicly traded corporation it grew a hundred fold in a couple of years. This kind of growth is simply impossible without corporate status because liability costs would preclude the necessary investor income. Liability costs are the reason corporations were invented, and the complexity and expense of preventing fraud in corporate finance and the need to further reduce investment risk is the prime reason for government interference in the economy.

quote:
I don't see how there's any legal or effective means of stopping people from making deals in private that will benefit and elevate them above the competition.
The point here is their power to do so is severely limited in purely private free market. This, again, is why the wealth-holders of the 19th century went through such efforts over many decades to change laws in their favor -- their interests were severely compromised by state police powers and the variability of economic ordinances from one commonwealth to the next (which usually enforced transparency). They lobbied for top-down control to impose legal uniformity and this required creative use of the 14th Amendment.

Note the exact same thing is happening now on and international scale as multi-national corporations complain of the cost of having to operate in so many different legal regimes, and so to reduce their costs even further they use "free trade agreements" to impose legal uniformity around the world. The only cost to us being democracy.

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Fenring
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Kid,

We probably agree on the general problem, or at least the symptom, but I'm not at all sure we agree on the mechanics of what leads to this and what steps might alleviate it. I don't really think any kind of capitalist or feudal system can get away from it, and a move towards socialism/statism can even make it worse.

quote:
Originally posted by KidTokyo:
So right there, in that artificial world, is a top-down control of banking and currency valuation, as happens in the real world. I'm guess that, as a result of the MMO admins' financial interests, they crack down on hackers who create their own currency valuations, or who counterfeit, or create new currency.

The main takeaway from MMO economics is that the mods have a vested interest in creating an inviting playing field for all players and in stopping both abuses and even systemic artifacts which lead to unfun results. The creators' interest is to make the game maximally fun for the most people possible. The fact that it's top-down is less relevant than the fact that the interest of the designers is in line with also pleasing the majority of players. This would not be the case, however, if the designers had a direct stake in certain outcomes other than general player satisfaction.

When the moderators of a real world economy make decisions, we have to assume they are going to do whatever benefits them most. If what benefits them is to cater to a select few then they'll do that. In a sense this is a game design problem and not a question of "corruption". The key is to design a 'game' where the most advantageous strategy for those in power is to do what will benefit the maximum number of people. Any situation where the majority will suffer while the designers/rulers gain is simply a direct conflict of interest and is a design flaw. In my opinion the primary objective is government control and economic stability is to eliminate conflicts of interest to the greatest extent possible. I think MMO economics is rather instructive in this area.

quote:
One wonders, then, by business owners continually lobby for such privileges? The best way to respond here is with specifics. Corporations, like any government entity, may or may not be subject to democratic controls. A corporation's authority to act comes from its charter, granted by the state.
The reason business owners lobby the state is because when there's a gravy train available everyone and his cousin will get in line to try to lap it up. Free cash? Let's get it! And once there's a jet of money flowing freely it's quite natural for various groups to try not only to direct it their way, but to affect its rate of flow and even the rules behind it. It's true that a sort of parasitism does naturally form around government (or any source of resources), but this is merely a sign that businesses will do whatever they can to get whatever they can. If the government well were to run dry they'd go elsewhere and come up with different tricks. Again this is counterfactual, but so it suggesting they'd not be able to. In more or less unplanned economies and the chaos that goes with them there will always be some large source of power and resources, and everyone will line up to get at it; whether it's law, or mining rights, or redistribution, it all comes to the same thing.
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KidTokyo
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quote:
I don't really think any kind of capitalist or feudal system can get away from it, and a move towards socialism/statism can even make it worse.

It's always and only a question of degree. There is little chance of changing "human nature" fundamentally. However, structural differences can change outcomes by several orders of magnitude, so it's important not to dismiss such problems as inevitable when perfectly viable and proven remedies exist which would literally decimate the negative effects we are discussing. Statism can indeed make it much worse. But whether its a state or business entity or a pseudo-governmental economic institution -- its a question of whether a structure is in place to prevent managers and/or administrators and/or civil from imposing costs on others that those others have not consented to.

Which is why I argue that governments should be owned by citizens, and businesses should be owned by employees. I do not contend that this would end abuses. It would, however, drastically reduce them.

quote:
The creators' interest is to make the game maximally fun for the most people possible. The fact that it's top-down is less relevant than the fact that the interest of the designers is in line with also pleasing the majority of players. This would not be the case, however, if the designers had a direct stake in certain outcomes other than general player satisfaction.
This is exactly the point I have just made. But what if some players were responsible for the great majority of the creator's income? Suppose you had an MMO that allowed players to pay $10,000 per month for special rule-making privileges? What would happen then? For whom would the rules be made most favorable? And what if the players who could not afford such rates had no other game to play, but were required by law to pay? Competition with other MMO's would force the creators to limit the sale of expensive privileges, or risk loosing a mass audience, but that is the advantage of not being a captive consumer.

quote:
The key is to design a 'game' where the most advantageous strategy for those in power is to do what will benefit the maximum number of people.
This cannot be done centrally.

quote:
If the government well were to run dry they'd go elsewhere and come up with different tricks. Again this is counterfactual, but so it suggesting they'd not be able to. In more or less unplanned economies and the chaos that goes with them there will always be some large source of power and resources, and everyone will line up to get at it; whether it's law, or mining rights, or redistribution, it all comes to the same thing.
"Not being able to" is not my argument. Government is how they are able to do it. If there isn't a government around to lobby -- they create one. That has in fact happened. But either way, government is a necessary mechanism. It's actually self-evident if you think about it. Business needs a system of control and an organizing. What is that if not government? Businesses essentially function like limited governments anyway.
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by KidTokyo:
But what if some players were responsible for the great majority of the creator's income? Suppose you had an MMO that allowed players to pay $10,000 per month for special rule-making privileges? What would happen then? For whom would the rules be made most favorable? And what if the players who could not afford such rates had no other game to play, but were required by law to pay?

The answer to this is simple: The designers can create a game system that has this mechanic, or they can make one that doesn't. If they simply don't include a mechanism for a select few players to provide most of their income then it's a non-issue. If they do include it then they've set up the possibility (and if the game went on indefinitely the inevitability) that this will happen. A good game won't have this option, then. Most games do include purchasable content, but the goal is to make excessive purchases of this type such that they won't break the general gameplay. Some people do set up local markets by selling in-game content for real dollars at a price reduced from what the game would charge, or for selling accounts, work done in-game, or other content that a newer player couldn't yet afford. But this secondary market can't impede too much on the general gameplay in terms of balance and enjoyment if the game is going to last a decent amount of time. And one important point is that this secondary market benefits some users, but not the designers. Of course it's entirely possible some of these users may actually be designers incognito, but if this was a real concern it could easily be patched by the company disallowing employees to sell in-game content.

quote:
quote:
The key is to design a 'game' where the most advantageous strategy for those in power is to do what will benefit the maximum number of people.
This cannot be done centrally.
It can, but it requires strict controls. There are any number of ways of centrally planning such a system, the only question is how well they would function.

quote:
But either way, government is a necessary mechanism. It's actually self-evident if you think about it. Business needs a system of control and an organizing. What is that if not government? Businesses essentially function like limited governments anyway.
If you're going to call any centralization of power "government" then I think your claim is basically tautological and I have to agree with it. I do think there's an operational difference between "central power" and "government" in terms of both definition and function, since the former can be anything ranging from a despot to a cartel to socialism, while the latter can also include decentralized forms such as pure democracy and anarchism that do not have all the power in one pot. So yes, there is always a 'mechanism' for operation, but how it's set up is the issue. It would be very easy to set up both centralized and decentralized governments that would inevitably lead to corporatism, and equally easy to set up both that are effectively immune to it. But one has to be willing to have that as a clear objective and to do it. At present since power-brokers do not have this as their objective, pretty much no one on Earth can even claim to have attempted a truly fair and functional system. It's not so much difficult to create one; it's difficult to get people to agree to create one.
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Seriati
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quote:
Without debating the policy aspects on this thread, what do we think of the political ramifications?
What does this even mean?

I doubt there are any political ramifications. She basically took the shot gun approach to stating ideals and ignored even direct conflicts in doing so. The only ramification I see is a confirmation that a vote for her leaves you with a great big uncertainty as to what you're getting (other than a mouth piece for what ever needs to be said in a specific moment to keep the base happy - and please note, that's said, not done).

So if you're human and physically present in the space of the US, she's promising something for you (and will deliver none of it but what's in her direct self interest).

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Rafi
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
Rafi, I find argumentation thru insinuation is not very meaningful - you can't refute what doesn't get said. My guess is that you actually do believe in what Clinton was saying, but you see her as tainted and thus unable to even be credited for speaking the truth when she does so. And maybe you see her as being tainted because of her husband's foundation, or maybe you are making your judgements based on a fetish for White Water land deals in Arkansas 40 years ago. But unless you make your arguments clear, we are all just guessing.

She throws out the idea of opposing unaccountable money while she cuts deals and benefits from unaccountable money. Why you pretend to be unaware of this as you list examples of it is a game you seem to routinely engage.
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TomDavidson
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Are you generally opposed to politicians being able to benefit from unaccountable money, or are you more bothered by the hypocrisy of the thing?
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KidTokyo
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Fenring,

Your points are well-taken but the MMO analogy only goes so far -- its not the same level of complexity, the expenses of building up the "world" are much smaller, and the stakes are much lower. Besides, any real financial transactions occur within a context of real-world contract law.

quote:
If you're going to call any centralization of power "government" then I think your claim is basically tautological and I have to agree with it.
I was not making a point a broad as "any centralized power is a government." I was more specifically saying that a corporation is often structured like a government, albeit with a much narrower functional purpose, and further observing that there are historical examples of corporations forming governments -- usually municipalities based around a particular industrial sector, like a coal mine, or planned worker communities of the kind created by Pullman railroad car company. It is a major leap to take that as broadly defining government as any centralized power of any kind. There might be "government" in the verb sense, the act of governing ("corporate governance" is a stanard term) but "a government" has legal authority over all aspects of civil and criminal law -- and that is what I am referring to as "government."

And I am saying that your statement that "they will find other means" without government is a bit empty -- what other means? Without a government, you would only have private business entities, and I don't see either functionally or theoretically a business entity can grow to such a huge size without massive investment, and you can't secure massive investment without the transactional services provided by government, namely, fraud prevention, courts for resolving contractual disputes, etc.

Thousands of investors are not going to give their gold pieces to a business owner on the promise of a return without some very powerful mechanism for protecting their rights as investors -- which is, to say, a government.

A private business doesn't have this concern to anywhere near the same extent because it is owned by its managers, who are at arm's length in their dealings.

Granted, there are "market anarchists" who argue that such services can be purchased from other private entities who sell them, courts of mediation and so forth -- and that is indeed at least plausible, but who polices them? You either end up with a "turtles all the way down" situation, or a de facto government. Besides, the whole reason market anarchists propose such systems is precisely because they argue, as I do, that the lack of a sovereign state imposing uniform jurisdictional standards would make very large-scale financial centralization too inefficient to be profitable. They could adopt uniform commercial codes as a matter of custom eventually, but the competition provided by alternate regimes which could not be suppressed would leave severe structural limits on scale. The only way this would not be the case is if a federation of commericial syndicates built an army and waged war on their rivals...which I actually consider a genuine threat in market anarchism which is why I do not subscribe to it. But once you've got physical force in place, you are outside of contract and competition. It's no mere esoteric point -- large corporations have historically relied heavily on military conquest, which is most effectively perpetrated by highly organized and established governments. Anarchic warlords tend to do poorly compared large states in the conquest department.

So when you say "they will find another way," I'm curious to know what scenario you imagine. Historically, business entities have required government entities to grow massive, and vice versa. I think this is the general rule going back about 500 years or so. Without arm's length interaction, you need a mechanism for protecting investment contracts -- that would be government, with its courts and market regulators and other services.

quote:
It would be very easy to set up both centralized and decentralized governments that would inevitably lead to corporatism, and equally easy to set up both that are effectively immune to it.
For the reasons stated above I think this is more than a little hyperbolic. "Easy?" Really? What "decentralized" government in history created giant and powerful corporations? Why do the biggest corporations always favor government centralization, often over the outcries of smaller business owners and medium-sized companies?

[ June 17, 2015, 12:30 PM: Message edited by: KidTokyo ]

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